Workrate the key to success, says Tipperary hurling captain Padraic Maher

Eamonn Wynne

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Eamonn Wynne

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ewynne@nationalist.ie

Tipp hurlers prepare to play Galway

"One or two more small things and we'll be hard to stop", says Tipperary captain Padraic Maher ahead of Sunday's All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship semi-final against Galway.

Tipperary will need to "work their asses off" to beat Galway in Sunday's All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship semi-final at Croke Park.

That's the view of team captain Padraic Maher. 

“We know nothing else is going to get us through but to work our asses off against Galway because they are the kind of team that do the same.

They have a really strong work ethic within the group at the moment, you can see that in the games they played so we have to match it and beat it if we can at all".

He's pleased that there has been a noticeable improvement in the side's workrate, as they prepare to face Galway for the fourth year in-a-row in the championship and for the third successive year at the semi-final stage.  

"It (workrate) was one massive area we were missing in the Galway game in the League Final, and a lot of the Cork game too", he says. 

"It (the League Final) was a very open, loose kind of game. We knew we had to get back to basics and get our workrate right and we know if we hit those points on the head it will take a fair team to beat us.

“We are working on that area and it is what Mick (Ryan, the manager) demands of us, ever since he came in at the start of 2016.  He wanted us to give our all and work as hard as we can, and our hurling would take of itself after that.

 “The last two years have shown it. We couldn’t come out of the All-Ireland semi-final last year and say we played all that well. It was a workmanlike performance that got us through and it could have gone either way. The same the year before, we didn’t play well against them either (when Galway won) but there was only a point in it".

The shadow of this year's League Final is hovering over Tipp, who were soundly beaten by 16 points by their Sunday's opponents.

“We are always going to be criticised after a result like that. The manner of the way we were beaten, we were well beaten. You are going to have to take it on the chin and move on.

“I think slowly but surely we are proving that we are not all that bad as we were that day and are getting back to where we want to be. We are by no means at that at the moment but we are very close.

“Once we get the workrate right and we get the tackle count right we feel our hurling will finish the job".

However he believes that Galway present a formidable challenge.

“They are definitely improving, you can see that. That’s they way we would have treated them the last two years when we played them.

“They showed in the League Final that if we are not on song what they can do to us. 

“They played very well in the League Final but we have to hold our hands up and say we were a no-show the same day.

“We know we have plenty to work on ourselves before we worry about Galway. Definitely they are a way more rounded team this year than they were the last few years. They can hurt you in so many ways and seem to be working very hard for one another, so we’ll have to match that all day long".

While Galway have reached the last four as provincial champions, Tipp have taken the circuitous route to the semi-finals, and the captain is of the opinion that it hasn't done them any harm. 

“You’d prefer to have won the Munster Final and gone through that way, and you get confidence from that but I suppose the way we are going at the moment, game by game you are building confidence again, building momentum", he states.

“To be honest I was delighted we came out against Galway because it was a week less to wait than if we were playing Cork. So the faster the games come at the moment the better we feel, that’s just the form we are in and there's a buzz within the camp.

 “I am thoroughly enjoying the year at the moment. We are after playing so many games in the space of a couple of weeks and every game is knockout, so there is bite to every game. 

"It’s enjoyable and there is a great buzz in training, lads are mad for action and the lads (management) are pulling us out of training quicker than we would want. That’s the way it is and it is great to have it like that.

“I don’t know what it is but the more competitive matches the better, we have thoroughly enjoyed it the last few weeks". 

He's also pleased with the way in which they've bounced back after the setbacks against Galway in the League Final and Cork in the Munster Championship.

“The confidence was probably a bit low (after those defeats) but that is the one joy of the qualifiers. Game by game we are building ourselves up. 

“We are by no means where we want to be performance-wise but we are getting there slowly, and one or two more small things and we’ll be hard to stop”.