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Tipp aiming to hand Kilkenny and Cody an unwanted three-in-a-row

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Kilkenny have only twice (2004 and 2013) experienced two successive league defeats under Cody but bounced back to win the next game on each occasion.

Kilkenny have only twice (2004 and 2013) experienced two successive league defeats under Cody but bounced back to win the next game on each occasion.

SPORTSFILE

Kilkenny have only twice (2004 and 2013) experienced two successive league defeats under Cody but bounced back to win the next game on each occasion.

Kilkenny have broken a whole string of records since the turn of the Millennium but they are heading into different territory next Sunday when they will be trying to avoid a losing sequence that has never applied during the Brian Cody era.

If Tipperary win in Semple Stadium, it will be the first time since Cody took over as Kilkenny manager in late 1998 that they will have lost three successive Allianz League games.

It's an amazing run but is now under real threat as Tipperary regained momentum after the opening-day defeat by Dublin to rack up impressive wins against Clare and Galway.

In contrast, Kilkenny lost to Dublin and Galway after beating Cork in the opening round.

Kilkenny have only twice (2004 and 2013) experienced two successive league defeats under Cody (below) but bounced back to win the next game on each occasion. Indeed, they went on to win the 2013 title.

However, they will head into Sunday's game as 15/8 outsiders to beat Tipperary (1/2) and have drifted to 14/1 to retain the Division 1 title for a fourth successive year, a feat not achieved since Limerick completed the fourth leg of their five-timer in 1936.

It has been a very long time since Kilkenny were priced at such high odds to win a title but they now find themselves behind Tipperary, Cork, Galway, Dublin, Limerick and Waterford.

But with four of the six 1A teams to qualify for the league quarter-finals, those odds will look way off-line if Kilkenny win on Sunday, especially since they have Clare in Nowlan Park in the final round on Sunday week.

Four points were enough to earn Tipperary a quarter-final place last year but a similar return left Dublin facing a relegation play-off with Waterford, which they won.

Tipperary are seeking their first win over their longstanding rivals since the second round of the 2013 league. Since then they have lost five times and drawn once in league and championship.

Remarkably, both have scored exactly the same amount (4-62) in their opening three league games while there are only two points between them in the concession column: Kilkenny 2-62; Tipperary 2-60.

Irish Independent