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'You have to concentrate on yourself more than some of the opposition' - Cork's All-Ireland final task

Clare All-Ireland winner Colin Ryan joined the crew on The42 GAA Weekly to look ahead to the All-Ireland SHC final.

Cian Lynch and Ger Millerick during the Munster semi-final between Cork and Limerick.
Cian Lynch and Ger Millerick during the Munster semi-final between Cork and Limerick.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CORK SHOULD PRIORITISE their own strengths and gameplans rather than spend too much time considering what lies in Limerick’s locker, ahead of their All-Ireland SHC final showdown.

That’s the advice of Clare All-Ireland winner, Colin Ryan, who joined our resident experts Maurice Brosnan and Fintan O’Toole on today’s episode of The42 GAA Weekly.

Cork and Limerick will meet in the first senior All-Ireland decider between the two counties this weekend, where a huge challenge awaits the Rebel men.

Limerick, who are the reigning champions, are certainly the favourites going into the tie. They produced a stunning second-half display against Tipperary to complete a Munster three-in-a-row before storming past a gutsy Waterford side in the semi-final.

Cork impressed in their last-four clash with Leinster champions Kilkenny, and Ryan suggests that they should only allocate a certain amount of time to the homework they need to do on Limerick before they meet in Croke Park.

“I think,” he begins, “everyone is still talking about Limerick being the best team in the country and Cork kind of have a shot to nothing but they have to go at it and they obviously have to have a good gameplan.

“Cork have got there for a reason, they’ve done really well. And I think sometimes teams can be a bit caught up with ‘How are going to nullify the threats of the opposing team?’

“But you have to balance that with what has worked for you. And I often consider this, if you’re going to change something up for the opposing team, does it make you weaker? Does it make you a different team than what has got you there? And that is the balance that I would probably always say to kind of counter and go, ‘Yeah, grand, you can show what Limerick are good at and show a couple of weaknesses that we can get at them.

“But what you want to do is get complete buy-in from the team that this is how we’re going to beat them. Everybody has to be on the same page, everybody has to be fully sure that this is the gameplan. Once you get everyone bought into that, then you can just concentrate on yourself.

“If you don’t play to your potential as a player in an All-Ireland final, or as a team, you haven’t a hope of beating the opposition so I think a lot is made of this Limerick team and they are a great Limerick team but Cork need to realise what got them here is probably that bit of free-flowing game, but also their hard work in the forward line.

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“And if they can bring that hard work to Limerick’s back line and make it harder for Limerick to build their play, then they won’t be getting the same level of ball into their full-forward line, suddenly then, you’re nullifying a threat.

“And if you can keep that going for 70 minutes, you know you’re going to be in with a great shout. But you have to concentrate on yourself an awful lot more than some of the opposition.

To listen to the full episode, go to members.the42.ie.

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