Sunday 17 December 2017

'I'm not going to begin to talk about excuses'

Tipperary manager Michael Ryan, left, is congratulated by Kilkenny manager Brian Cody Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Tipperary manager Michael Ryan, left, is congratulated by Kilkenny manager Brian Cody Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

As if often the case, Brian Cody's post-match analysis was to the point.

The Kilkenny manager can give you the impression that he thinks it's all a bit pointless, the delving into the finer points of incidents that may have changed the course of the game or why the match went the way it did.

He leaves you with the impression that anything other than what goes on inside the white lines is of little relevance.

And that had nothing to do with the result. This was not sour grapes. For all his glorious victories in Croke Park, he maintains a similar demeanour in his media briefings. For him, there is the result and not much else, and it was the same yesterday.

So there was no grandstanding when he entered the media room underneath the Hogan Stand.

There was no soundbite the assembled media could hang on to.

There was no news of retirements or otherwise from the Kilkenny dressing-room.

Instead he got to the point. Tipperary had bested them in most every way. That was the simple truth of the previous couple of hours.

There was questions about whether changes could have been made quicker. And whether his full-back line might have been reshuffled at some stage given how well the Tipp attack was motoring.


If there was something in those points, Cody didn't see much value in diving into them. The game was done. Tipp were superior.

"I think the usual thing after an All-Ireland final, the better team wins the game," Cody replied, when asked for his overview of the game.

"The better team won today. There are no excuses, there is no 'if only this had happened' or 'if only that had happened'.

"There was nothing in it at half-time essentially, the first half was just to-ing and fro-ing I suppose - two points in it at half-time.

"We got a good start to the second half, we got a goal, but we didn't drive it on after that. When they got their goal they did drive it on. They were very, very good.

"There were six points in it with maybe 10 minutes to go or something like that. If you get a goal it is still nothing, you have to fight it out until the bitter end, to keep going.

"We tried to keep going, they did fight it out until the bitter end, but we weren't narrowing the gap enough. As the minutes wore on it was becoming very difficult for us to pull it back."

Cody only turned to his bench for the first time on the 60-minute mark but he denied that was a sign that he have the same riches of talent riding the pine that he once had. The full-back line, who endured a difficult 70 minutes, were absolved of any blame.

"When a full-forward line is on top it isn't always a question of what is happening the full-back line," he said. "It is a team game. Everybody talks about defending all over the field. Certainly I wouldn't be pointing the finger at anybody.

"Their full-forward line is very talented, but our full back line has done great work for us many, many times. It is a collective thing right throughout the field, sideline, management, we win together and lose together."

The Cats were without the injured Ger Aylward. Michael Fennelly was a loss but suggesting anything like that to the manager was a waste of breath.

There would be no excuses coming from the Kilkenny camp. Only a gracious acknowledgement that they had been second best.

"I'm not going to go down there, that's an excuse. There are no excuses and I'm not even going to begin to talk about excuses," said Cody.

"Michael Fennelly wasn't playing so he couldn't influence the game. Unfortunately he had no part to play in the game and we certainly are not going to start talking about anyone we didn't have because that's not the right thing to do. The better team won the game."

Kilkenny tend to use these defeats as platforms to build another dynasty. After their 2010 defeat, they won four of the next five All-Ireland titles. Bouncing back however, is talk for another day.

"I haven't been thinking about that (bouncing back) right now. The lads in the dressing room are obviously very, very disappointed and again, lookit, we've had great times, great days.

"The lads have done outstanding work over the years, over this year. Absolutely they deserve the highest praise and I would only give them the highest praise, and respect for what they've done and continued to do.

"When you lose an All-Ireland final - you don't even think about positives. You have to go through the suffering of what it's all about and that's what it's all about at the moment and will be for the next while.

"We don't even consider what might be coming down the tracks."

Irish Independent

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