Kilkenny manger Brian Cody admits his team were “wiped out” by a powerful Galway performance in the Leinster SHC final.
It was the Cats' first Championship defeat since the 2010 All-Ireland final against Tipperary.
It was also their first Leinster Championship reversal in eight years.
They last failed to win in the province when they fell to Wexford in the 2004 semi-final.
Unbelievably, Kilkenny managed just four first-half points and Cody told RTÉ Sport: “I said before the game that on any given day they could beat us and we could beat them.
"Certainly, they beat us today, beat us convincingly. Obviously, in the first half they wiped us out, if you like.
“We regrouped in the second half and took the fight to them and we were genuine to the very end.”
Asked if he could pinpoint where it went wrong for the All-Ireland champions, Cody said: “[That’s] sport, it’s very hard to explain these things and I don’t have the explanations, I don’t have the answers. I’m sure the lads in the studio may have them, I don’t. They were sharper, they were stronger, they were just flying, essentially.”
But the 11-time All-Ireland winner did point to the Tribesmen’s hunger for the contest as a telling factor.
“They had bodies all over the place.They won a huge amount of breaking ball. We didn’t win primary possession which, normally, we’re fairly good at.
"But it’s not mysterious, we were playing a very good team,” he said.