INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan Jimmy Barry Murphy.
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Jimmy Barry-Murphy confident Rebels can bring 'A game' for Dublin clash
Cork have a spot in the All-Ireland final in sight. But Anthony Daly’s side stand in their way.

CORK HURLING BOSS Jimmy Barry-Murphy says his young side will have to be quick out of the blocks against Dublin on Sunday.

The Rebels line out in a novel All-Ireland last-four tie in what will ‘practically be a home game’ for Anthony Daly’s side at Croke Park.

“[A good start was] important in Thurles against Kilkenny, a very important factor,” agrees Barry-Murphy. “We didn’t start well in the Munster final and we were kind of playing catch-up.

“Dublin are practically playing at home, we must come out of the blocks straight away and try and match them early on especially,” says the St Finbarr’s clubman.

“Overall, I would be confident. The players are developing and we have got to re-produce the performance now that we gave against Kilkenny and against Clare and be better even. The bar is being raised all the time but the players are responding great but we have had to come back down from the Kilkenny match because we still have won nothing.

“We got relegated in the league, lost a Munster final so we cannot afford to get ahead of ourselves. We cannot be going around patting ourselves on the back as a management either because, as I said, we have nothing won yet. Dublin have.’’

While Cork and Dublin prepare for the second tie in the dual-code, two-county series, Barry-Murphy admits the semi-final pairings in the hurling championship underline that this has been the most open summer since the 90s. Nobody could have named the four semi-finalists at the start of the year and if they did they’d be very wealthy people now,” says the All-Ireland winning manager.

“Obviously, after the Munster final defeat, we are delighted to be back in an All-Ireland semi-final. I suppose having to play Kilkenny was our penalty for losing the Munster final to Limerick, but fair play to the players, they responded great and I thought how they handled the test from Kilkenny was wonderful really.

“We were very disappointed with the Munster final. There was a title at stake and we put a lot into trying to win it and as I said the penalty was then playing Kilkenny.

“We had to re-group fairly quickly and the players, to be fair, produced the goods on the day and it was a great victory. But it’s Dublin now and I have been saying all along, they are an excellent team, I am not just saying that and they have proved it.

“They beat Kilkenny in a replay, something I thought they wouldn’t do. Then they beat Galway which I thought was an amazing performance, they destroyed them really and they are coming in here as the form team, but we are going up ourselves full of confidence after beating Kilkenny.’’

He adds: “It has been an unusual year. You saw all our league games and we were unlucky to be relegated because we played well in it to be fair. We deliberately tried to taper our training and coaching this year to peak during the summer and you can be lucky with that or not.

“Our performance against Clare was very good and then the Munster final was disappointing. The win over Kilkenny was a great boost for the county and going forward I think the players must take a lot from the fact that they beat one of the greatest teams of all time.

“In saying that, our second-half against them was not as good as we would have liked. They were down to 14 men and we really didn’t put them away but they are a hard team to put away.’’

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