Ciarán Carey and Ryan O’Dwyer reflect on Tipperary’s season so far, as the Premier finished third in Munster ahead of a clash with Offaly.
Ciaran Carey believes the innate “cocky and arrogant’ nature of Tipperary could stand them in good stead this season.
Former Premier hurler Ryan O’Dwyer, meanwhile, feels that Liam Cahill’s side have mixed the good with the bad through their Munster campaign.
Tipperary have just one win in their last ten championship games, so it was put to Carey that it would be quite something to go from that form to All-Ireland winners.
“Without a doubt and what you’re looking for in any team… the scoreboard will always look after itself, the silverware will look after itself, so you’re looking for a level of performance.
“You’re looking for a bit of heart, a bit of pride. I can remember late last year and I said to you ‘watch Tipp next season, they could be dark horses’. It was shaping up like that for a while.
“As I said earlier on, Cahill has an outstanding job done on them even though it’s early doors.
“Really, the display against Waterford undone a lot of that and if they came out and got a proper result, I’d have been saying they’re probably the most consistent team in Munster now. But they’re not.
“Definitely they have improved hugely, the forwards and fitness has improved. You can see his stamp on the team.
“They got a massive result against Limerick and that is going to be huge for confidence.
“When you get a result like that playing the cream of the crop, and you hold your own, ‘let’s grow in confidence and push on’.
“I’m waiting for that, and I think the back door could suit them, because I think they’re probably cocky enough and arrogant enough from a few displays that they can hold their own… but you need to think like that.”
O’Dwyer says: “Tipp this year have been an enigma. They’ve mixed some brilliant stuff, some phenomenal stuff and stuff that shows character instead of just hurling skills.
“Stuff that you’d appreciate. Then they go out the last day against Waterford and produce that, which is just so disappointing.
“There’s a lot of hurlers on the ditch that they did this and that wrong, or they weren’t switched.
“I just think Waterford came out with a plan to stop Tipp and Tipp didn’t respond. They stayed too much to their approach or whatever.
“They’re going to come up against Offaly and I think they will have too much, but I don’t think it will be easy because Offaly are going to have their homework done.
“Then the next day it’s against the Leinster final losers so Kilkenny or Galway. I think they have a chance in that… I think three of there semi-finalists will be made up of Munster teams.”
GAA HURLING ALL-IRELAND CHAMPIONSHIPS, JOE MCDONAGH CUP, CHRISTY RING CUP, NICKEY RACKARD CUP, LORY MEAGHER CUP
LIAM MacCARTHY CUP
Round 1: April 22: Antrim 1-19 Dublin 1-19, Corrigan Park; Galway 0-24 Wexford 2-12,
Pearse Stadium; Kilkenny 0-29 Westmeath 0-7, UPMC Nowlan Park.
Round 2: April 29: Wexford 1-30 Antrim 1-26, Chadwicks Wexford Park; Dublin 2-23
Westmeath 1-14, Parnell Park; April 30: Kilkenny 0-28 Galway 1-25, UPMC Nowlan Park.
Round 3: May 6: Dublin 1-22 Wexford 0-23, Croke Park; Galway 6-33 Westmeath 0-17, TEG Cusack Park; May 7: Kilkenny 5-31 Antrim 3-20 Corrigan Park.
Round 4: May 20: Kilkenny 0-27 Dublin 0-21, UPMC Nowlan Park; May 21: Galway 5-29 Antrim 1-22, Pearse Stadium; Westmeath 4-18, Wexford 2-22, Chadwicks Wexford Park.
Round 5: May 28: Wexford 4-23 Kilkenny 5-18, Chadwicks Wexford Park; Dublin 2-22
Galway 1-25, Croke Park; Antrim 4-24 Westmeath 1-19, TEG Cusack Park.
Final: June 11: Galway v Kilkenny, Croke Park
Round 1: April 23: Limerick 1-18 Waterford 0-19, FBD Semple Stadium; Tipperary 5-22 Clare 3-23, Ennis.
Round 2: April 29: Clare 1-24 Limerick 2-20 TUS Gaelic Grounds; April 30: Cork 0-27 Waterford 0-18, Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
Round 3: May 6: Cork 4-19 Tipperary 2-25, Pairc Ui Chaoimh; May 13: Clare 2-22 Waterford 0-16, FBD Semple Stadium.
Round 4: May 21: Clare 2-22 Cork 3-18, Ennis; Tipperary 0-25 Limerick 0-25, FBD Semple Stadium.
Round 5: May 28: Limerick 3-25 Cork 1-30, TUS Gaelic Grounds; Waterford 1-24 Tipperary 0-21, FBD Semple Stadium.
Final: June 11: Clare v Limerick
Preliminary quarter-finals: June 17: Carlow v Dublin; Offaly v Tipperary
Quarter-finals: June 24: Galway/Kilkenny v Offaly/Tipperary; Clare/Limerick v Carlow/Dublin.
Semi-finals: July 8: Clare/Limerick v quarter-final winners; July 9: Galway/Kilkenny v quarter-
final winners. Both in Croke Park.
Final: July 23, Croke Park.