Brian Cody: 'We needed a goal'
By Cian O'Connell
Brian Cody admitted Kilkenny were always going to be under significant pressure following concession of two goals in the opening seven minutes of the second half against Tipperary at Croke Park.
The blue and gold team pounced after Richie Hogan's dismissal in the closing stages of the opening period.
It meant that the third quarter was loaded with significance, but Tipperary delivered in style. “Definitely, there’s no doubt about that, it was a tough ask and that gave them the daylight and we kept it at that and we kept popping some scores and everything else," Cody remarked.
"We needed a goal, which was going to be very, very difficult to get with an extra defender back there. "But we defended magnificently. I thought some of our players were just outstanding against serious odds and that’s the way it went.
"Obviously there wouldn’t have been huge confidence outside our own dressing room in the team, but the way they fought, the way they defended, the way they played I thought was excellent."
Kilkenny just couldn't perform with the same level in the second half according to Cody. “I’d say the use of the ball in the first half was superb when we had a player in every position and it became very, very difficult then in the second half to kind of find the men," Cody admitted.
"We’re talking about playing against a very, very good team, conditions not particularly conducive to finding everything you want to find in it. I don’t think it’s down to anything in particular like that.
"Like I said, we were beaten, we’re not going to be going around making excuses or anything like that, that’s the way it went and I still believe that our players were superb."
It also ensured that Kilkenny were unable to supply TJ Reid and his forward colleagues with sufficient rations of quality possession. “There’s no doubt about that," Cody stated. "Extraordinarily difficult is about the size of it really and right throughout the field as well.
"We kept going and they kept at it, like, no more can you ask and that’s unfortunately the way it worked out for us."