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# Fighting Talk
'It felt horrible, horrible to the lads, but a bit of perspective is needed too'
Derek McGrath was speaking about the aftermath of Waterford Munster final hammering to Tipperary.

NO SOONER HAD the final whistle sounded on Waterford’s comfortable if not entirely impressive 0-21 to 0-11 win over Wexford, than the focus quickly turned to the daunting challenge that lies ahead.

Brian Cody’s All-Ireland champions await the Deise in the last four and when you assess Waterford’s performance yesterday, there’s a lot they’ll need to improve on if they’re to dethrone Kilkenny.

Still, recovering from the mental anguish of that heavy defeat Munster final to Tipperary was always going to be the biggest test for Waterford. That was one exam they passed on Sunday.

“We’re there, and we’re there on absolute merit,” Derek McGrath said afterwards. “We’ve a massive challenge ahead of us because Kilkenny have dominated every team so far, but I’m telling you, we’re there, we’re there on merit and we’re there to take on Kilkenny.

“It was a very satisfying victory. If there was a hint of a psychological scar from the beating they received a couple of weeks ago, it certainly wasn’t evident there. That’s the most pleasing part of it.

“We were disconsolate – it was evident in our body language, I looked back at it, and our body language with fifteen minutes to go in the Munster final, it was extremely negative on the line.

“Coming out afterwards to face the cameras, it was even more harrowing viewing, but you’re managing your own county, these fellas are playing for their own county . . . there’s a feeling there, and it’s not just a normal ‘come in, hang up your coat’.

“It felt horrible, horrible to the lads, but a bit of perspective is needed too. I don’t think Waterford have been to consecutive All-Ireland semi-finals in six years, so we need to stand back at times.”

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Waterford’s profligacy in front of goal is what constitutes most worry for McGrath at this stage. They hit 19 wides on Sunday and that’s something that the Deise boss knows won’t go unpunished against Kilkenny.

“I’ve been consistent on that, I never really mind wides, other than to point out in the dressing-room that you could be in a better situation, but if that takes over the mind then it becomes a retrospective point.

“You say it afterwards, ‘we dominated that game’. Midway through the second half we’d have said Waterford didn’t deserve to lose that game, given how dominant they were in the first half.

“I think they got five points in a row and then we came with a rally of six points in a row – I’m particularly delighted for the lads who were very hurt by how they performed in 35 minutes against Tipperary in Limerick.”

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