Sunday 25 February 2018

Moran: Blame the Waterford players, not the system

Moran: "It was our fault, we didn’t play to the way we had been playing the last while and basically that’s what cost us.” Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

The post-mortem only started in earnest last night as Waterford gathered for training for the first time since their hammering at the hands of Tipperary on Sunday but Déise veteran Kevin Moran has his own ideas on what went wrong.

For whatever reason, the wheels came off a wagon that has been ticking over nicely for a couple of seasons now.

And Moran reckons it was the players who failed Waterford's much talked-about defensive system, rather than the other way around.

"There's a system failure and all that - but we let the runners off. . . It was our fault, we didn't play to the way we had been playing the last while and basically that's what cost us."

There were echoes of the 2011 Munster final last Sunday. Five years ago, Tipperary hit the net seven times to run out 21-point winners over Waterford and Moran reckons that was harder to swallow as they were very much in the game at half-time last weekend.


"To be honest with you, I think 2011 was worse because conditions were perfect," Moran recalled.

"We were under the cosh from the first minute. If we look back at the first half the other day, I don't think it was a systems failure or a total disaster of a performance.

"I think they took a goal that shouldn't have happened. We had an opportunity of a goal that didn't happen and we missed chances, so we could have gone in four or five points up.

"In the second half, yes, it was an absolute onslaught and it was such hard conditions, the rain was coming and there was a huge downfield wind, winning the ball we were up against it.

"Even when we got inside to win the ball and try and score it was tricky. That's what I'm clinging in hope to anyway."

Waterford face Wexford now in their All-Ireland quarter-final in Semple Stadium on July 24 and Moran admits he's unsure as to whether they can recover from a third final defeat inside 12 months in time to rebuild their season.

"If we had been beaten by three or four points like we were in the Munster final last year would we have learned as much? I don't know.

"I could come back to you in a month's time and tell you we learned a lot from the Tipperary defeat.

"The magnitude of the defeat is more disappointing, nearly embarrassing for the players, the backroom team, family and friends and like that because people just didn't see it coming.

"No better team than Tipperary when they have the momentum and they're a few points up - they won't stop. They were relentless."

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