Sunday 18 February 2018

Connors: No need for Deise to change style

Waterford's Noel Connors said that his team should not change their style even after defeat against Tipperary
Waterford's Noel Connors said that his team should not change their style even after defeat against Tipperary
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Defeat to Tipperary in the Munster final should not be seen as a setback for Waterford hurling, Noel Connors believes.

Nor does he feel there is any requirement to change the way they play on the back of a first loss of the season for Derek McGrath's team.

"I'd say we'll just stick to what we're used to rather than change, just because we had a defeat," he said.

"A lot of people were probably putting Tipperary as favourites, and firm favourites at that, which was fair because, between themselves and Kilkenny, they've been the benchmark for the past few years.

"So I don't think we should change. We were playing one of the best teams in the country. No doubt you want to win, but you have to be a realist as well.

"We're relatively young. We're still a forming team. So we'll take things on the chin - build on these things and drive them forward and make them into your strengths for future years."

Connors feels inexperience cost Waterford in the closing stages on Sunday but he is sure that the season is far from over for them.

"You learn more from defeat," said the Passage corner-back. "In the last five minutes we let Tipperary in for a few frees that were not really required.

"We over-carried the ball or carried it into tackles, when we should have probably just laid it off.

"Tipperary have been there in September in nearly all of the last five years, and that just kind of comes with age and experience more so than anything else.

"At this end of the Championship you are coming up against the best teams in the country and you'd be foolish to think that you weren't going to taste defeat at some stage.

"But we are still in line for the first Sunday in September - that hasn't changed.

"We were unfortunate enough that there is an U-21 match on tonight (a Munster semi-final against Clare). There are quite a number of lads were involved in that. That's a small hurdle we have to get over also."

Connors doesn't reconcile with the idea that hurling is changing because the goal count in this year's Championship has halved as teams pour more emphasis into defence.

"I wouldn't agree with that at all. You talk about Tipperary and Limerick match, there was an abundance of goals there," he pointed out.

"Even with our match against Cork in the Championship, there have been goals raining in.

"It was a freak thing (two games at the weekend without a goal). It's not as if there is no one getting shots on goal.

"Cork have been playing this running game for years. It's the tradition in Cork so I don't think it's changed much in that sense.

"It's just that more people are adapting that style of play and playing to their strengths more than going traditional at times."

Irish Independent

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