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Cody wary of 'close contact situation that really can cripple a team'

Dublin lost four players for Saturday’s Leinster hurling final due to a Covid case in the camp.

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody.
Kilkenny manager Brian Cody.
Image: Brian Reilly-Troy/INPHO

BRIAN CODY SAYS Dublin’s Covid situation at the weekend has highlighted the need for Kilkenny to be ‘totally vigilant’ ahead of their All-Ireland semi-finals in three weeks.

The Cats delivered back-to-back Leinster titles for the first time since 2016 after defeating a Dublin side that were rocked by a positive Covid test on the morning of the game.

It meant they were without two starters and two substitutes after three players were identified as close contacts.

With case numbers on the rise once again across the country, Cody is confident Kilkenny have the correct measures in place although he accepts that bad luck could strike at any time.

“Everybody is going to have to be really, really careful,” said the Kilkenny boss.

“Dublin were disadvantaged, there is no doubt about that, losing players. The reality is it’s there for absolutely everybody and we’re just going to have to be absolutely, totally vigilant.

“You can be very unlucky and get the virus but it’s the close contact situation that really can cripple a team.

“The responsibility is on everybody concerned to be totally vigilant and you can still have hard luck so hopefully over the next few weeks it will go well for all teams because it was so important to continue on playing sport.

“What’s there is so, so serious. Obviously, we’re getting closer to the end game if you like but now it’s just attacking us again. There is a huge responsibility on everybody to be very, very careful.

“What’s there is so, so serious. Obviously, we’re getting closer to the end game if you like but now it’s just attacking us again. There is a huge responsibility on everybody to be very, very careful.”

It was Cody’s 17th Leinster title as Kilkenny manager and they will wait to see what sides emerge from the backdoor and All-Ireland quarter-finals in the coming weeks.

“We’re delighted to be Leinster champions first of all and we’re delighted it gets us into an All-Ireland semi-final. Three weeks to go, there are going to be some very good games in the meantime and we found out what the opposition is going to be.

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“You’re talking about a step up in everything from now on because what comes out to play against us in an All-Ireland semi-final is going to be a huge challenge. But look that’s where we want to be and we’re there now.”

Asked about the value of going through the front door, he remarked: “I think everybody wants to go straight through. First of all, everybody wants to win their provincial championship, we wanted to win the Leinster championship, everybody who competed in it wanted to win it, same with Munster and you will see the desire in both teams to win the Munster final tomorrow.

“Obviously, it is a great prize to get into an All-Ireland semi-final because Dublin go into an All-Ireland quarter-final now and there’s going to be a big challenge but they’re going to pose a big challenge to whoever comes out of it (qualifiers) as well. But we’re very happy to be there.”

– First published 10.05, 19 July

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Kevin O'Brien

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