'He had his homework done' - John Mullane identifies how Brian Cody got the better of Davy Fitz in sideline battle
Former Waterford hurler John Mullane has lauded the tactical nous of Kilkenny manager Brian Cody following his team’s Division One semi-final triumph against Wexford last Sunday.
Mullane, speaking on The Throw-In, Independent.ie's GAA podcast in association with Allianz, said that Davy Fitzgerald’s side showed signs of fatigue after a gruelling league schedule but that the Cats were clever enough to exploit this and other weaknesses.
"Wexford approached every league game like a Championship game and I think it probably caught up with them last Sunday," he said.
"They put enormous effort into the Galway game and they looked like a completely different team against Kilkenny.
"You’ve got to give great credit to the old master himself, Brian Cody, and this Kilkenny team because after five or six minutes we thought Wexford were going to blitz them but to be fair to Brian Cody, he had his homework done."
The positioning of half forward Martin Keoghan and full forward Walter Walsh proved particularly decisive in the Cats' victory, added Mullane.
"Where they won this game was the positioning of Walter Walsh and Martin Keoghan," he said.
"If you go back throughout the whole course of the league with Wexford in a lot of their games you had the attacking wing-backs of Diarmuid O’Keeffe and Paudie Foley and the positioning of Walsh and Keoghan nullified the threat of those two and created a lot of space up front for Kilkenny.”
This latest achievement represents a major turnaround in fortunes for the Kilkenny boss, who was the subject of criticism following consecutive defeats against Cork and Clare at the beginning of the league campaign, and Mullane believes the prospect of another Cody title will only add to this Sunday's final against Tipperary.
"A few weeks ago an awful lot of people were calling for Brian Cody’s head and here we are now on the verge of him winning his 20th national title to go along with his 15 Leinster titles," he said. "It’s set up for a mouthwatering game on Sunday against Tipperary."
Subscribe to The Throw-In, Independent.ie's weekly GAA podcast in association with Allianz, for the best in GAA discussion and analysis every week, with some of the biggest names in football and hurling from Joe Brolly, Tomás Ó'Sé and John Mullane.