THE RTÉ TV panel were full of admiration for Tipperary and their efforts in overcoming Cork in the opening Munster SHC clash of the new season.
“Tipperary pushed on in the second half and had leaders all over the pitch,” RTÉ pundit Ursula Jacob explained.
“John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer got seven points from play and how he created that goal for John McGrath was incredible. Most of the talk coming into the game was all about Cork’s pace but Tipperary used their intelligence today.
“Their half-back line really powered into Cork in the second half and it was like of a wall of three Mahers. They got four points from play in that half-back line and launched attack after attack. It is incredible that Tipperary had such a spread of scorers right across the pitch as well.”
Former Kilkenny All-Ireland winner Jackie Tyrell also paid tribute to Tipperary’s spread of scorers but took time to point the finger at Cork’s full-back line, warning a big improvement is needed for the remainder of the provincial championship and beyond.
“At times it was very open and very loose but in fairness to Tipperary, they just drove on in the second half,” Tyrell commented.
“Tipperary were clinical and it really was a complete performance from them. The full-back line, which has been targeted before, was very solid today with James Barry very strong at full-back.
"On the other side, Cork’s full-back line continues to be their Achilles heel. To concede 2-24 from play and Tipperary could have had a lot more scores too.
"This is the Munster Championship yet it just petered out and had a challenge match feel to it.”
Anthony Daly paid tribute to Tipperary’s John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer and said the forward was well deserving of his Man of the Match award.
“When he is at his best he is an absolute joy to watch,” Daly commented.
“Obviously, Liam Sheedy came in and gave it to him straight that he is not always in the best shape but he will need to be one hundred percent right here or you won’t be part of my plans. ‘Bubbles’ has clearly bought in and the rewards were out there today.
“As Ursula (Jacobs) said, what vision to pick out John McGrath for that goal. We saw some of the Cork lads in similar positions in the first half.
"All very good players but happy to take their points. The ruthless element of Tipperary to say, do you know, there is a goal on here and then to finish it.
"It was rolling back the years.”
O’Dwyer was full of admiration for his entire Tipperary squad’s efforts in scoring 2-24 from open play and overcoming reigning Munster champions Cork on their home pitch. O’Dwyer admitted Tipp went back to the drawing board ahead of the new season.
“Every team was kind of targeting the first game, the first game was massive,” O’Dwyer commented shortly after full time.
“If you don’t win your first game then you are under pressure to win the second one. This is huge for us because Cork have been Munster champions two years in a row. It is good to get a win on the first day but there is a long year ahead yet.
“We didn’t have a great year last year. A couple of draws and then beaten by a score or two on a couple of occasions.
"We just went back to the drawing board. A new manager coming and it was all about working hard and getting our principles right. We got a good win today but we have another massive game next week.
“Our shooting is something we have been working on a lot on in training. Last year we felt our scoring efficiency wasn’t great.
"We have six forwards, two midfielders, even our half-backs are all good strikers of the ball and always looking for scores. We have scorers all over the field and it is good that everyone chipped in.
“Liam (Sheedy) will be the first one to say that the first game is over but that we have to get straight back down to work tomorrow ahead of Waterford next weekend.
"It is a tough championship but that is the way you want it.”