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Cody 'relieved' as Cats escape

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Kilkenny manager Brian Cody. Picture: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody. Picture: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody. Picture: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

IT SAYS plenty about the respective mindsets of the opposing managers that Brian Cody used words like "escaped" and "relieved" yesterday after his team had flirted freely with losing to Dublin in Portlaoise.

"We escaped with a draw, getting the last point of the game and very relieved to do so," he explained afterwards, the theme of relief running through almost everything he said.

That he has tasted Leinster defeat just twice in his 15 seasons in charge of Kilkenny probably means he is unaccustomed to its sharp flavour but his attitude to excuses was as consistent as ever: there are none.

The sight of Michael Fennelly and Henry Shefflin conducting their warm-up in casual runners, indicating that neither would play a part, might have given Cody a hook to hang his excuses hat on but he steadfastly refused.

Complacency

"We never use that as an excuse. It shouldn't have a bearing on the game – there's no point even talking about it," he stated.

"Obviously we'd like to have everyone available but you have what you have and all you can do is get on with it."

Similarly, complacency was low on Cody's list of assessments of Kilkenny's sluggishness yesterday.

"I wasn't surprised by how well Dublin played," he insisted. "I've been saying it for a long time that they are a very good team.

"I was conscious that Dublin had two championship games behind them which brought them on – it was very good preparation for them."

The sight of Colin Fennelly pointing into the town end goal to referee Johnny Ryan after winning the toss seemed entirely odd, given the strength of the gale which blew down the pitch but it turns out, that's just what Kilkenny do.

"Tradition," Cody explained. "It's just something we do and I don't think it's a big issue.

"If we were to lose the toss, we wouldn't have minded either.

"As it turned out, both teams played better against the wind.

Determined

"We had played well against the wind in the first but there was no sense in the dressing-room that the job is done.

"We were fully determined to drive it on but Dublin were excellent in the second half.

"They cause us a lot of trouble in the second half.

"They dominated the exchanges and made a lot of things happen for themselves. They used the ball better than we did in the second half whereas in the first half we used it quite well."

As for what he took out of yesterday, Cody was suitably pragmatic.

"The positives were the last point, for starters, because it was looking like a big negative just before that," he conceded.

"Ah look, the positives are that we're going to play Dublin next week in the Leinster semi-final.

"We know what's facing us, we're glad to be there and obviously there won't be very much physical preparation but it's a question of getting a bit of recovery and getting ready to go again," he concluded.

"It's a short turnaround but that's fine."


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