I couldn’t justify Tipperary being favourites because this Championship is a marathon, not a sprint.
I’ve said it before that Tipp were always going to hit the ground with a bounce, especially since they managed the club-games issue that they suffered from last year.
They were also gone from the National League early (even if it wasn’t through choice), so it all has helped to get them off to a quick start.
Have a little patience
This is where the Tipperary supporters have to be patient with the team.
Is anyone really going to win eight or nine matches on the trot to win an All-Ireland? I don’t think so.
I wouldn’t be going as far as saying Tipp are favourites for the All-Ireland at all.
In Munster, Tipperary aren’t qualified just yet, but they are nearly there.
I’m wondering if this Munster Championship will come down to a crunch game where Tipp and Limerick are facing off in the last match?
The lads will be well grounded under Liam Sheedy to ignore this kind of stuff though, even if he’s not with them every hour of the day. The Clare game is though and you’ll be hoping that they can sustain the form that they’ve shown.
The job isn’t done yet, the margins are way too tight.
You can’t judge hurling in May against the real business end in July and August.
Fluidity is back
You can certainly see the application to a high work ethic in the last two games and that’s the first ingredient you look for. After that, the hurling will look after itself.
It’s a bit like what Cork did to Limerick as well, they worked their socks off and the imagination sprung from there.
The big thing for me is that Tipperary’s attitude seems to be right at the required standard of the top teams and with that comes the fluidity of their hurling.
Tipp v Clare rivalry is stirring again
Clare are now the only team with a 100 per cent record at home since the new Munster Championship round-robin started.
They won their two games at home last year against Waterford and Limerick, and every other team has now tasted a home defeat in Munster except them. It just tells how hard it is to go down to Cusack Park in Ennis and come out with a victory.
Cork was a different story for Tipperary, as the spine of the team had won there in the past – even if it was before Páirc Uí Chaoimh was redeveloped. But, this is a different challenge altogether for Tipperary.
I get the feeling Clare are looking at bigger things this year.
They were so close to getting to the All-Ireland final in 2018 and I get the vibe that they will only see progress in going all the way this year. Tipp can get a victory in Ennis, but it’s a hard ask. Leaving there with any kind of a result would be a good one.
I reckon the Tipp/Clare rivalry is starting to brew again and I can’t wait for Sunday.