Monday 16 September 2019

Brennan: Benches are pivotal

Joe Canning, Eddie Brennan, John Mullane and Brendan Cummins featured in a special edition of The
Throw-In, Independent.ie’s GAA podcast in association with Bord Gáis Energy. Photo: Owen Breslin
Joe Canning, Eddie Brennan, John Mullane and Brendan Cummins featured in a special edition of The Throw-In, Independent.ie’s GAA podcast in association with Bord Gáis Energy. Photo: Owen Breslin

Tony Considine

Today's battle between Kilkenny's TJ Reid and Tipperary's Seamus Callanan is the box-office element for most commentators, but Laois manager and Kilkenny legend Eddie Brennan believes that this afternoon's All-Ireland final will be decided by the respective benches where the likes of Richie Leahy or Jake Morris lie in wait.

"Up to the Wexford game, we didn't know that Tipp had a bench, to be honest. Even despite the under 20s, they had gone with a settled core of guys with one or two lads in and out," Brennan told the Croke Park audience at The Throw-In Live in association with Bord Gáis Energy.

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"I think what the key thing is with the high attrition rate and the high mileage lads are putting up during matches, getting fresh legs in is critical.

"You look at the game that Wexford played, both wing-backs were up and down the field, they were all over the place. Come the last 15 minutes, they weren't able to move. And where did the fresh Tipp legs come in? They went in around that area.

"The message is simple at that stage and it's logical too. Get the ball and carry it, they can't stay running after you. You're now hitting lads that are zapped so put a fresh lad on somebody and get the ball to him in space.

"If you have a Richie Leahy, who can run, James Maher, Billy Ryan, they're all very mobile guys and that is the key to it."

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