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Half-time jersey change just the job for De La Salle

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SK,4  . . . although the Waterford side wore different jerseys in the first half ,6 PAT MURPHY/SPORTSFILE.

SK,4 . . . although the Waterford side wore different jerseys in the first half ,6 PAT MURPHY/SPORTSFILE.

SK,4 . . . although the Waterford side wore different jerseys in the first half ,6 PAT MURPHY/SPORTSFILE.

NEWLY crowned All-Ireland colleges hurling champions De La Salle deployed some 'Clive Woodward' psychology to beat Kilkenny CBS in Sunday's final. The Waterford side changed jerseys at half-time to convey the impression that they were starting a new game all over again.

One of the joint managers, Derek McGrath, admitted he got the idea from reading the former England rugby team head coach's autobiography.

The shirt changed involved a different style with claret and yellow hoops being replaced by a yellow body with claret trimmings for the second half.

"We got into the dressing-room at half-time and everybody put on a new shirt as if we were starting a new game. These things are all very fine when a team wins but when you lose they can backfire on you," he reasoned.

De La Salle first swapped jerseys at half-time in the Harty Cup final out of necessity because of the inclement weather. That was their third Harty Cup final appearance and only their first success.

"After that it became an omen for the players," said McGrath.

Another device used was the filming of 'good luck' wishes from all the parents of the players which was shown to the players on the Saturday before the game.

"Any little ploy like that can help, anything that is removed from the norm," said McGrath.

De La Salle won the match by a point after leading by 0-6 to 0-5 at half-time in their first ever All-Ireland final.