Wednesday 13 November 2019

Furious Tyrrell slams Cats’ ‘slipping standards’

Jackie Tyrell Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
Jackie Tyrell Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile

Jackie Cahill

All Star defender Jackie Tyrrell has delivered a damning verdict on Kilkenny's Allianz National Hurling League final display, describing it as "the worst performance I was ever involved in with Kilkenny."

The James Stephens powerhouse, who joined the Cats' senior panel in 2003, was left devastated by a crushing 12-point defeat to Dublin at Croke Park in the Division 1 decider.

And Tyrrell, speaking at Limerick IT yesterday, candidly admitted that Kilkenny's standards are "slipping".

The five-time All-Ireland SHC medallist has also urged his team-mates to go back to basics by ensuring that Kilkenny's training sessions return to the levels of intensity for which they have become renowned.

Tyrrell also admitted that Dublin's demolition job last Sunday left Kilkenny frustrated, leading to untypical incidents of indiscipline -- which look set to land a couple of players in hot water with GAA disciplinary chiefs.


Tyrrell, All-Ireland winning captain in 2006, said: "It came out in all of us and came out probably in Eoin (Larkin) in the first half, John Dalton and a few other incidents as well where lads were getting frustrated. You never really see that out of Kilkenny teams really, lashing out and things like that.

"It was frustrating but we can't point the finger at anyone -- we just have to look at ourselves and start from there. If we get our own house in order and get back to what we were doing, with the work-rate, we might have a chance."

The 28-year-old added: "It was the worst performance I was ever involved in with Kilkenny. It's not just one or two things -- a lot of things in our game just weren't up to scratch.

"Fair play to Dublin, they're really moving in the right direction, but we seem to be going backwards. We have an awful lot of work to do."

Tyrrell revealed that in the dressing-room before throw-in last Sunday, Kilkenny felt ready for battle but were left with no answers.

“I thought we were actually going very well. Even in the dressing room before the match lads were tuned in. From the start of the game, Dublin set out their task and tempo and we just couldn’t match them,” he said.

“Kilkenny, back through the years, we would have never said that. We would have said, if we have our house in order, we’d be in with a shout, but on Sunday we were blown off the field in all aspects – physicality, fitness, speed, hurling. It’s something that we have to address.

“We’ll all have to take a good long look at ourselves and see what we’re all about. We need to get back to what we were doing in the last couple of years – an unbelievable work-rate, more so in our forwards, putting teams under pressure, forcing turnovers and getting scores.


“That was what we built our run on in winning the few All-Irelands – but we’ve gone away from doing that. Dublin are doing it, all other teams are doing it. They’ve just passed us out and we need to get back to that.

“At least we have a week off now to get our heads around it; back training next week and go hammer and tongs at it to see if we can get this thing right.”

“I don’t think any one of the 15 or the subs that came in can say they did themselves justice, worked hard for the team or anything like that.

“That’s letting your standards slip. We’ve held high standards and we’ve been proud of what we’ve done but we’ve slipped.

“We’ve been seeing it in our performances and they haven’t been good.

“We just carried on, but on Sunday it all came to a head and we need to really, really, seriously sit down and see what’s going on and what we can do about it.”

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