Thursday 23 November 2017

Horgan not expecting Tipperary to be on revenge mission

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

GETTING spanked by Cork last summer may have been the turning point of Tipperary's year, but Rebel attacker Patrick Horgan doesn't believe that thrashing will give the All-Ireland champions any extra motivation tomorrow.

"I think that game is long forgotten," he said. "If Tipp had beaten us by 10 points and we'd ended up with a trophy we'd have taken it and wouldn't have any revenge issues, and I'd say they'll be thinking the same."

But he believes his side must replicate that performance if they're to win tomorrow's massive Munster hurling rematch.

"It wasn't exactly a freak result, but all 15 of our players had the game of their lives and the three fellas who came on were the same," Horgan said.

"And we'll need the exact same this year. Thirteen or 14 of us playing well won't be enough, all 15 of us and more need to be on top of our game."

Horgan may only be 23 but the corner-forward already knows all about the white heat of Munster championship battles. He made his Munster senior debut against Tipp at Pairc Ui Chaoimh three years ago and will never forget it.

"It was crazy, a completely different game, you'd nearly be in a daze the way the ball was flying around so fast and the noise," he said.

Horgan was one of the main beneficiaries of Aisake O hAilpin's ability to break ball this time last year, scoring 2-2 against Tipp.

But with their big full-forward since departed back to Australia, there is a lot less faith in Denis Walsh's team this season, particularly their scoring ability.

They failed to put away some key games in the Allianz League, where those who pipped them included relegation-threatened Wexford, yet Horgan (left) feels people are being overly critical.

"We lost four league games (Kilkenny, Waterford, Dublin and Wexford) by just a point. We probably should have won two of those and drawn another one but just got kind of unlucky with the run of the ball here or there," he said.

"There's no one going to be scoring freely any more, the way hurling's gone. The Cork team of 2004-05 did but the game's after changing the last couple of years.

"It's all about defensive systems and people tracking back now. You won't be getting shots away anymore without two or three fellas doing something about it."

With Michael Cussen left on the bench, Cork are without both of their 'twin towers' but Horgan believes others will step up to the plate.

"You don't really need a big man necessarily," he said. "We've other fellas like Fraggy (Kieran Murphy) and Paudie (O'Sullivan) who are very cute around the ball, they're able to block it down and the ball's on the ground then. You have to be able to change it up."

Irish Independent

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