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'They are back and we can take that as a certainty' - Tipp boss praises Cork

Michael Ryan was keen to pay tribute after yesterday’s defeat.

UNSEATED AT THE opening hurdle in Munster.

Not a good start to the 2017 championship for Michael Ryan but the Tipperary manager didn’t hesitate to lob the plaudits the way of their opponents.

“We wouldn’t have been happy in terms of how we did play but I thought it was a cracking game of hurling and to be fair to Cork I thought they were excellent.

“Look, this is Cork lads. This time last year we were here saying they weren’t themselves, but I tell you they are back and we can take that as a certainty.

“I think it’s going to be a very interesting year. I love to be right sometimes, but I told ye fellas last September that next year was going to be a fantastic year for hurling and so it is.

“Our lot now is we have to find a new route, and look it the challenge is ours and we have lots of soul searching to do.

“A couple of facts that need to absolutely confirmed here. We have a super bunch of fellas down there. They care a huge amount about Tipperary hurling.

“And, you know, they didn’t do anything wrong here today. They just came up against a really, really good Cork team and we weren’t sharp enough.

“So we have work to do but look, I am not shocked.”

It’s not the first time that Tipperary have lost an opener to Cork and not the first time Ryan was involved.

He was a selector back in 2010 when they bounced back splendidly to land ultimate honours.

“Well look, that’s the challenge,” reflected Ryan.

“I wouldn’t be too keen to draw too many parallels. We got a 10-point beating that day. This was a real game of hurling out there today.

“There wasn’t a gulf in class or anything going on there but I thought Cork trumped us for that middle third energy and intensity. I thought they were really sharp all over the field to be honest.”

Time then to search for clues for Tipperary’s lethargy.

It’s the second afternoon in a row when they haven’t scaled the heights they are obviously capable of, this defeat arriving on the back of that league final pasting against Galway.

Ryan was not offering it as the reason for defeat but did want to point out how full their players diary has been of late.

“This is by no means an excuse. Four weeks ago we got beaten by Galway and my point about it being we had eight games in 10 weeks and we immediately turned around and for the bulk of our fellas they had another two games, competitive club games in the intervening four weeks.

“Look every county has got a unique situation there. But we have certainly got something that we have to look at in terms of, are our boys allowed enough time in terms of preparation?

“It’s a very delicate balance between club and county. We have got to be fair to everybody here.

“I am just concerned for our boys that they have been on the go. To me they certainly didn’t look fresh enough out there.

“I can’t emphasise that enough, it’s not an excuse but I do feel for these fellas.

“We pulled a session last week, which would have been down as a work session for ourselves purely because of what we were seeing – (the) load on the boys.

“Every county team are measuring in terms of fatigue (and) rest for their teams and everyone makes adjustments.”

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