KERRY just about deserving winners but a bit of ‘Corkness’ should offer Ronan McCarthy hope according to the RTÉ panel following Saturday’s Munster final.
“Kerry are obviously delighted to win but when you look at it, both teams will come away happy,” former Kerry multi All-Ireland winner and RTÉ co-commentator Tomás Ó Sé stated.
“Cork will realise that all they have to do is get over one more game and they will be in the Super 8s. They played well against Limerick and here against Kerry tonight.
“When they look back they will see they took only 13 out of 26 scoring chances.
“Compared to Kerry, they got 20 out of 25. Kerry only had four wides and were a way more clinical. That second half, Cork put it up to Kerry who will go back and look at their defence in particular.
“There are a lot of holes there. It is early days but certainly you wouldn’t be picking out any winners towards the end of the season.”
Ó Sé’s sentiments were echoed by former Cork All-Ireland winner Bríd Stack who welcomed her county’s increased physicality.
“I just thought it was an absolutely fantastic performance from Cork,” Stack commented.
“They didn’t go hiding and stood up to ever tackle. I thought they were a bit more physically imposing in the second half. The big thing now is consistency.
“They have put two games back to back and hopefully they can develop that further.
“Cork will be regretting a few missed chances in the second half but it was a massive, genuine effort put in.
“Maybe a few more challenge games will stand to them!”
Kerry All-Ireland and All-Star winner Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper welcomed the return of ‘Corkness’ and impressed with Ronan McCarthy’s side’s gung-ho approach.
“It was a great performance from Cork in the second half,” Cooper stated.
“We talked about Kerry pulling away but there was no such thing. Cork came at Kerry, threw caution to the wind and went for it. They were within a kick of the ball from getting something from this game.
“I think they talk about the ‘Corkness’ coming back into Cork football, well we saw it tonight.”
Although Ronan McCarthy has no interest in moral victories, Cork’s work rate, desire and effort should give the Rebels plenty of hope according to RTÉ pundit Colm O’Rourke.
The former Meath All-Ireland winner was also critical of Kerry’s defence despite their Munster final win “The Kerry backs are great with the ball going forward,” O’Rourke commented.
“Yet when Cork attacked them in the second half, led by a real warrior in Ruairí Deane, what (defensive deficiencies) we have consistently been talking about on this program showed up once again.
“I judge this Kerry team on the basis of are they good enough to go to Croke Park and win an All-Ireland? What I think after tonight is that they certainly aren’t.
“They are not up to the standard that Dublin or even Donegal have shown so far.
“Cork were relegated to Division 3 and people weren’t optimistic about them coming here tonight. Now they have gone away having seen a Cork team put Kerry to the pin of their collar.
“Cork have hope for the future based on that.
“They are way below the hurlers in terms of support and probably feel it too. I think the Cork people who came here tonight will say these Cork lads deserve a lot more support.”