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  • GAA

Attitude is key to Tipp taking care of Laois

Thursday, 11th July, 2019 2:03pm
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Attitude is key to Tipp taking care of Laois

Jerome Cahill

Attitude is key to Tipp taking care of Laois

Jerome Cahill

BACK MAN'S JOB

Paddy Stapleton

 

We thought we had the roadmap to the All-Ireland final studied and marked out, but Laois have really lit up the All-Ireland phase of this championship. It’s a strange place for the Tipperary hurlers to find themselves in, but there are some potholes that need to be seen well in advance and avoided.

Tippeary are now in a really mentally tough position because although some might say they did not play to potential against Limerick, it was clear that all the players were well up for the battle given the physicality in the first half. Many of the times that we under-performed in other years you could see a lack of motivation or spark like the Cork game in 2010, or if you studied the first round of the Munster Championship in 2014 you could see the tension in the team against Limerick that day Thurles. Unforced errors, easy free counts and poor shot selections were evident throughout because we expected so much from ourselves.

The difference back then is that you knew a couple of small tweaks and some mental preparation would automatically improve performances, which culminated in one All-Ireland win and another but for the width of a post. The challenge is greater now as we know the team has trained and applied themselves impeccably, the camp has never been as quiet, and Limerick were still able to outclass us in the second half of the Munster Final.

I am not in favour of tearing up the years game-plan at all, but management have now seen our weaknesses exposed in the harshest of lights. I would expect some small changes to the team against Laois; Cathal Barrett back in, maybe another option looked at for full back. Brendan Maher back to wing back with at least one more injection of youth in midfield or the forward line. I think Michael Breen has done a good job in midfield for most of the year and that overall the team needs his physical ability. It will be interesting to see how Jerome Cahill performs for the U20s on Tuesday and if he is drafted straight into the line-up next weekend. I would say it is a distinct possibility given the impetus he added against Limerick as well as the leadership he showed for the U21s last year.

 

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