Tuesday 6 December 2016

The Throw-in podcast: Henry Shefflin admits Kilkenny lack strength of previous years but remain unmatched mentally

Published 11/08/2016 | 15:58

Waterford players,Shane Fives, 2, Pauric Mahony, 20, Conor Gleeson, 17, Austin Gleeson, 6 and Philip Mahony vie for possession with Kilkenny players Richie Hogan, 15, Eoin Larkin, Michael Fennelly, 9, Joey Holden, 3, John Power and Lester Ryan. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Waterford players,Shane Fives, 2, Pauric Mahony, 20, Conor Gleeson, 17, Austin Gleeson, 6 and Philip Mahony vie for possession with Kilkenny players Richie Hogan, 15, Eoin Larkin, Michael Fennelly, 9, Joey Holden, 3, John Power and Lester Ryan. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

“It’s great that Kilkenny players have another cut to prove themselves this Saturday,” said Henry Shefflin on this week’s Independent.ie GAA podcast, The Throw-In.

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Previewing the All Ireland hurling semi final replay between Kilkenny and Waterford with Frank Roche, Michael Verney and Conor McKeon, the Kilkenny legend believes that some of the players let themselves down and will be eager to make up for a below-par performance.

“Looking at last Sunday you can see that Kilkenny aren’t as strong as in other years,” he admitted. “But mentally, they are still the best around.”

“The one thing that Brian Cody will focus on with his teams is that you never, never give up and you could see that as they came back to get the draw against Waterford.”

Looking to the other semi final between Tipperary and Galway, Shefflin is also tipping the Munster champions based on their improved defence and ability to always get their score.

“Tipp will always score and if they’re now conceding less, then they have a very good chance.”

Turning to football, and in the wake of last week’s sending-offs of Sean Cavanagh and Diarmuid Connolly, Ciaran Whelan and Eugene McGee were also on the show as they discussed whether teams and managers should be bemoaning the targeting of key players.

For McGee, this has been a tactic as old as the hills, and teams need to just get on with their own game. For Ciaran Whelan however, the game and the rules have evolved and it’s easier to provoke a player with the aggressor and the victim both getting yellows.

“Most of what the managers said in the wake of the games last weekend was rubbish,” said Whelan. “They’re just PR spinners and you should just ignore all their PR talk.”

Leon Blanche from BoyleSports joined the Throw-In team to discuss the weekend GAA bets and in the weekly €50 charity bet, recommended a 2/1 double of Galway +4 and Waterford +6 while INM’s Michael Verney was going for two singles of 10-1 draws between Tipp v Galway and Kilkenny v Waterford.

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