O'Connor's Kingdom need repair work ahead of Cork test
How much can you improve a team in 14 days?
That's the question Kerry manager Jack O'Connor is faced with as he ponders facing National League champions Cork in the Munster sfc semi-final at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on June 10.
Because improvement is something Kerry will need in spades based on their laboured display against a brave Tipperary yesterday.
Kerry were poor in many aspects of their game and were particularly weak in defence whenever the Tipp forwards ran at them.
Fouls were given away by several Kerry defenders in the absence of sharp, legal tackles and that form of defending would spell disaster against Cork.
Only Eoin Brosnan and Tomas O Se reached the standard required to breach a forward line like Cork's.
Even Bryan Sheehan's free-taking was lacking its usual reliability.
Until Kieran Donaghy and other subs arrived in the second half, Kerry were even struggling for possession at times.
But the Kingdom playing poorly against lesser opponents is nothing unusual, so we can expect a bit of a transformation in two weeks' time.
There was no sign in this game that Kerry are going to rely any less on the handpass than they have in recent seasons, which is a bit surprising, but maybe it will be different later on.
Colm Cooper, like all good thoroughbreds, needed the run-out and will produce more for Kerry against Cork.
This was an important result for Tipperary as they stayed within touching distance throughout and, but for some wild shooting and a lack of guile in attack, they would have really scared Kerry.
They have a lot of raw talent and could have a good run in the qualifiers, depending on the draw. Even the Tipp hurling supporters in Semple Stadium must have been impressed by what they saw in this game.