Thursday 23 May 2019

'Hurling is a simple game, it's about work-rate' - Tomás Mulcahy bemoans Cork's lack of intensity

Former Cork hurler Tomás Mulcahy
Former Cork hurler Tomás Mulcahy

John Morley

Cork legend Tomás Mulcahy believes the Rebels seven-point loss to Liam Sheedy's Tipperary was largely due to a lack of 'work-rate'.

Mulcahy was disappointed that the Cork hurlers looked so lethargic against the Premier county in Pairc Ui Chaoimh, highlighting their inability to man mark as testament to that.

"I just thought the energy levels were different than what we've seen with that team in the past," said Mulcahy.

"They were just so far off their men and you can put a lot of that down to Tipperary but, they just left a lot of space and there was so much free scoring in the game."

One of the best plays in the match saw Tipperary Captain Seamus Callanan run in unmarked for his side's opening goal, highlighting Cork's deficiencies in defence.

"When it comes to championship, a defender's job is to mark his man and number two is to be tight and compact in defence as well," he added

"With the quality of forwards that Tipperary have, coughing up ball or leaving guys in free positions to score like Bubbles O'Dwyer, Noel McGrath, Seamus Callanan. I mean you give them a ball on the run and they're going to score. And they punished us."

Mulcahy attributed the porous Cork defence down to that lack of physique and work-rate in their defensive lines, with the notable absence of midfielder Bill Cooper a huge blow for the Rebels.

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"I think at the start they were a bit thrown by the Bill Cooper injury because he does bring a bit of a physical presence, he's a strong individual, a very good hurler as well.

"When you're playing without the likes of a Bill Cooper it does make it more difficult. I do think that he was a big loss."

Mulcahy is not writing off Cork yet though and argued that Tipperary have been preparing for Cork since their early departure from the championship last year.

"Tipperary exited the championship last year in June and they were waiting for this game for a long time. You could see it in the way they approached the league differently this year."

Looking ahead to Cork's away game to Limerick this weekend Mulcahy believes that keeping a tight defence and bringing a huge intensity will be crucial if they are to salvage their Munster campaign and pick up the two points on offer.

"Hurling is a simple game, it's about work-rate. You look at Kilkenny on Saturday night, they were in a difficult place at half-time, at half-time there was a couple of positional changes but (ultimately) it was about work-rate.

"Look at what we've seen with Limerick during the league, their work-rate, hunting in packs like men possessed, wanting to win a league title while being All-Ireland champions and they're now saying that they want to win a Munster Championship."

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