Sunday 8 December 2019

'Shock talk' could cost Kilkenny

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

JACKIE Tyrrell's insistence that having Kilkenny's style of play questioned "goes in one ear and out the other" is no doubt true around Nowlan Park, but that's not where their championship games will be played.

It's difficult to know for sure if a campaign is under way in an attempt to convince officials that Kilkenny's game needs to be refereed more rigorously, but there's certainly enough being written and spoken on the subject to keep it on the agenda as the championship heats up.

There is intense competition in the analysis world nowadays, especially among former players and managers, some of whom appear to believe that their reputations (and earning power) will be enhanced by making more noise than sense, so expect the 'shock talk' across a range of areas to increase over the summer.

As the dominant force in hurling for so long, Kilkenny will be prime targets.

Indeed, I suspect that it poses a real threat to them, because sooner or later some referee will buy into the propaganda about their style and whistle them off the field.

That would be most unfair, of course, but referees are human too and as susceptible as anybody else to impressions, especially those that are driven by what looks like a concerted attempt to undermine Kilkenny.

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