'Consistent' Cork can go one better - Joyce
Cork star Christopher Joyce believes the Rebels didn't do themselves justice in last year's All-Ireland semi-final, writes Donnchadh Boyle.
Cork conceded four goals and went down by 11 points to Tipperary in their semi-final game almost 12 months ago, a defeat that marked the end of the reign of Kieran Kingston as manager.
Having retained their provincial title this time around, they are determined to give a better account of themselves in Sunday's showdown with Clare.
"Every time you lose with Cork is very disappointing, especially in an All-Ireland semi-final," Joyce said of last year.
"We didn't do ourselves justice. We didn't perform to the level we can. If you are going to win an All-Ireland semi-final, you have to bring your A-game and we didn't do that last year. We'll try to take learnings from that and, hopefully, this year we do bring a performance that can be good enough."
Joyce believes that in retaining their Munster title, they have shown they have grown as a team.
"It shows consistency, really. Eight games in Munster unbeaten shows consistency. That is the consistency we want to bring to Croke Park the next day. Bring that, bring a performance and, hopefully, go one better than last year.
"Our ultimate goal in 2017 was to build a game plan that suits the team and we found that. It was our first year buying into it and fellas were really trying to build performances from that game plan.
"Ultimately, we didn't perform. We fell out of the game plan on the day. We didn't have the confidence to execute it. This year, it was about improving the game plan, bringing it further, let's be better. That was the ultimate goal of 2018."
Cork came from behind to beat Clare in the Munster final and also secured a draw against Tipperary after blowing a nine-point lead. They also recovered from a four-point half-time deficit to beat Waterford in the Munster championship and Joyce says the fact that they didn't lose those games demonstrates their maturity.
"We are focusing on ourselves and getting our own game plan right, we are not overly focusing on the opposition," he says.
"When you have so many games all you can do is focus on yourself, you don't have a whole pile of time to do analysis. This year we are trying to stick to our game plan for 70 minutes. In previous years we may have broken from that and panicked, started launching high balls in.
"When we got ourselves into trouble this year we stuck to that game plan and that is what got us out of trouble against Limerick and Tipperary."