The Cork bubble burst on Sunday. There was a huge emphasis put on the importance of winning home games and now they’ve left themselves a big ask heading into the next three Munster Championship games.
From a Tipp prospective, the victory it will go a long way to appeasing supporters for the very poor run of form they carried through last year’s Championship.
To come down to Cork and walk away with a comfortable victory (and it was comfortable, they could have won by more even) will be very pleasing for them.
Tipp rotation had Cork backs in a spin
The entire game was a tale of two half-back lines really.
Tipperary’s was totally dominant and the three Mahers (Brendan, Ronan and Paudie) hit four points from play between them. They easily handled any scenario Cork threw at them, which was mainly to throw the ball right down their alley.
As for the Cork half-backs, they were utterly ran ragged!
Bubbles (John O’Dwyer) was named at corner-forward for Tipp, but operated at centre-forward for large parts of the match and did untold damage to Cork. You have to set your platform from your half-back line and Cork just didn’t do it. It is one of the key areas where the game was won and lost.
Conceding 2-24 from play is a huge total. The Eamon O’Shea rotation system for Tipperary was well flagged for Cork heading into this game – including by me.
Liam Sheedy is a very clever man, but we knew what he and his backroom team were going to bring – Cork just couldn’t handle it!
Tipp’s movement had Cork in all sorts of trouble, take the second goal; Bubbles stood for the best part of 10 seconds on his own on the Cork 13-yard line with no defender around him, no one knew he was there except Anthony Nash.
When the ball came in, he moved out to the North Stand side to pick it up and Cork were chasing shadows. He delivered the perfect ball to John McGrath and what a goal. The unselfishness of Tipperary led to two cracking goals.
It’s unforgivable at intercounty level to leave Bubbles alone around the square for that long though.
He just drifted in there, he was someone’s man and someone in the Cork defence will have to put their hands up and say ‘I just didn’t track him’.
It also highlighted the importance of Bill Cooper, who was injured in the warm-up. Cooper identifies where the problem is and plugs the gap. He wasn’t there to bail them out this time.
Ref is off the Cork Christmas card list
There was a lot of cynicism from the Tipperary backs let go in the second half. The referee Sean Cleere seemed to ignore the clear pulls and trips on the Cork forwards.
It’s like someone had a word in his ear at half time because he reffed the second half completely different from the first.
There’s no doubt that the leeway he gave Tipp to be cynical helped them to victory.
He won’t be on Cork’s Christmas card list, that’s for sure.
Hoggie needs help
Seamus Harnedy got 1-02, but to be honest, I thought he went missing for a lot of the game. I’d actually rate Shane Kingston higher than him.
Kingston finished with three points from play and was fouled on numerous occasion. He also got no reward from the officials as more fouls on him went unpunished, but at least he carried a threat.
Harnedy got a point in the first minute, a goal with five minutes to go and a point somewhere in between – where was he for the rest of it?
The rest of the forwards were ineffective and that’s very worrying.
Tipperary also stifled Cork’s puck-outs and that was due to the unselfish work of their forwards. When the ball went dead, they sprinted to pick up a man.
If your six forwards aren’t willing to do the work and your midfield isn’t dropping back to help your defence, then you are in trouble. Nash will probably be more disappointed than anyone with his puck-outs, four or five Tipp scores came directly from them.
Cork are far too reliant on Patrick Horgan and have been for a while now.
Unless other guys start taking the responsibility and sharing the load with Hoggie, Cork are going nowhere. Hoggie nearly always turns up, but what about the day he doesn’t?
Cork should be really worried about that day.
Public call out was ‘interesting’
It was interesting after the game when John Meyler came out and questioned if the Cork forwards were working hard enough?
Was the Sunday Game really the right platform to single them out? It was an interesting take on it, but it is probably something that was better kept inside the dressing room to have it out.
Was it the right thing to do in the public domain? Maybe he has his reasons.
I just don’t think I would have done it.
Gaelic Ground-ing waiting for Cork?
This is a massive week now! Don’t get me wrong, the Cork fans will travel because they’re loyal and we’ll support our team wherever they go, but it’s a huge task now.
But, is it beyond them? The funny thing is, it’s not. They could go to the Gaelic Grounds and get a victory. If we can even get a point that would be great.
The two things Cork need going forward are Bill Cooper and Alan Cadogan.
If we can get into third place that will be fine. We’ll lose out on a chance to defend our Munster title, but I don’t think that’s a massive priority for Cork this season.