After a five-week gap leading in to Sunday’s Munster SHC opener against Waterford, Cork will experience a contrast this weekend.
Between the final whistle in Páirc Uí Chaoimh two days ago and throw-in for the Tipperary match, there is a gap of around 145 and a half hours. In that regard, the result of the Déise clash was always going to be a factor in how the preparations for the second outing was framed.
With two points on the board, Cork manager Pat Ryan is expecting a tough challenge against the only other unbeaten side. Limerick’s loss last Saturday at home to Clare – themselves beaten by Tipp – means that the cat is thrown among the pigeons in the round-robin and so maximising home opportunities is key.
“We obviously have two home games back-to-back,” he said, “and it puts you on the back foot if you don't get a win.
“It gives us two points. Ourselves and Tipperary are the only crowd with two points from one game, so look it is going to be very tight. I don't think there will be anyone getting eight points this year. I think it'll be very tight this year, so five points is what we are looking for.
“If we can get five points, that will make sure we can get into the top three.”
Cork will have Eoin Downey available again after he missed the Waterford game due to suspension, sent off in the league semi-final defeat to Kilkenny. New GAA rules on team publication mean that all counties’ sides are released on a Friday afternoon – before the Clare match, Tipp registered their displeasure at such a measure by numbering their squad alphabetically.
It's not a topic with which Ryan has much of an issue.
“No, it made no difference to us,” he said.
“We train Thursday night. I can understand teams that train of a Friday night. I'd be of the same opinion that it is vital the players hear first who’s on the team.
“It’s even more vital that the fellas who don't make the 26 hear first. They are the fellas I'd be always worried about. If you make the 26, brilliant; the fellas outside it are the fellas who are really, really disappointed.
“I can understand why managers might be [upset], but we train Thursday night and we are ready to go Sunday.”
Captain Seán O’Donoghue hasn’t played since being forced off injured in the opening league game against Limerick with a dead leg that proved to be more serious than first anticipated. Back training since last month, he was one of four standby players that Cork picked outside of the matchday 26. There is a chance that the Inniscarra man will feature against Tipperary but Ryan is uncertain.
“It will be touch and go,” he said.
“Sean is playing in all our matches in training the last three weeks. It was a very bad dead leg at the time but he's after making fierce progress in the last six weeks. It'll be touch and go for next week.
“He was playing Tuesday and Thursday in our training games. When we said we weren't starting him, it wouldn't be fair to bring him in either.
“We weren't going to leave a fella off the panel just for a fella who might be carrying a bit of niggle.”
There was a crowd of 29,104 in the Páirc last Sunday, while the attendance for the Limerick-Clare game the previous evening was 30,460.
It’s likely that a new highest figure will be recorded this Saturday night as the team and support feed off each other.
“There will always be a good Cork support, in fairness,” Ryan said.
“We have huge people who are interested in Cork hurling and follow the team. They’re just looking for something to grab on to.
“I’d like to think the lads represented the jersey the way it should be represented today and that’s what we’re insisting the lads do.
“In fairness, when fellas see that that Cork players will represent the jersey in the right way they’ll follow that team.”