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'For the half a second of madness, the punishment is extreme' - Bubbles banned for Munster final

Tipperary boss Michael Ryan believes John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer is paying too heavy a price for his Munster semi-final red card.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

JOHN ‘BUBBLES’ O’Dwyer will pay a heavy price for the red card he received in the Munster senior hurling semi-final against Limerick.

The Tipperary forward lashed out at Richie English in the 14th minute and was given his marching orders, resulting in a one-match ban that will see him miss out on Sunday’s provincial decider against Waterford at the Gaelic Grounds.

But Tipp boss Michael Ryan believes that the consequences, and punishment, are “extreme” for O’Dwyer.

Midfielder Michael Breen revealed after the Limerick win that O’Dwyer put his disappointment to one side for a few moments to deliver a stirring half-time speech.

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

And Ryan revealed: “I have spoken to him (O’Dwyer).

“I missed the speech. I’m delighted he did (speak) as it was a contribution and it was as much as he could do at the time.

The sending off was unfortunate, red mist or whatever it takes to make a poor decision and look at the consequences – a Munster Final and he can’t take any part. The punishment and the crime, I always ask myself about that. I’m not advocating more rule changes or black cards like that but I feel for the half a second of madness, the punishment is extreme but those are the rules.

“John has held his hands up, he made a mistake and got caught. Thankfully it didn’t cost the team.”

Ryan is also anticipating an open and attractive Munster senior final against the Déise.

Waterford are expected to employ their usual sweeper system but Ryan still believes that patrons in Limerick will be entertained in the second successive provincial final clash between the counties.

And Ryan insisted that the venue will have no impact on the game whatsoever, as Waterford clamoured for Limerick this time after opting to play Tipperary in Thurles last year.

Did the pitch ever win you a match? Does the wind ever win you a match? It really doesn’t.

“It’s down to what you do, how the players adapt, how quickly they settle, who’s going to win the key battles, the usual post match signals we all recognise. That’s what will tell us who is going to win this match. We’ve just got to try and figure them out in advance.”

Michael Ryan celebrates at the final whistle Michael Ryan celebrates Tipp's Munster semi-final victory over Limerick with selector Conor Stakelum. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

But Ryan is expecting a ferocious challenge from a Waterford team he believes are in a far better place to challenge for a first provincial senior crown since 2010.

“Waterford are a bigger, stronger team, and in terms of the quality of the players that have come through this year.

“Take Shane Bennett who would have started at 11, a top quality player, very exciting player.

Obviously they are stronger having Pauric Mahony back and he is a renowned free-taker but they have a few free-takers, Maurice Shanahan takes frees and is accomplished as well.

“This is a really good Waterford team. I would struggle to find a weak area in that team.

“Our own level of performance will have to go up a couple of notches, this is game on.

Shane Bennett dejected The emergence of Shane Bennett has added to Waterford's attacking options. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

“Waterford will feel exactly as we do about this Munster Championship, they want to win it so do we.

‘Take that as your starting point, that is a great place to be coming from.

“Even though there is a safety net, nobody wants it.

“This is going to be an attacking game, I expect it to be an attacking game from both sides.”

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