/ GAA

John Gardiner believes Kilkenny's experience will prove difference

Updated: Friday, 28 Sep 2012 12:47 | Comments

John Gardiner: "I'd be hoping that Galway would pull it out of the fire but my head is saying Kilkenny. They are battle-hardened"
John Gardiner: "I'd be hoping that Galway would pull it out of the fire but my head is saying Kilkenny. They are battle-hardened"

Video

Audio

Cork defender John Gardiner reckons that Kilkenny’s experience in the big 'battles' will be the telling factor in Sunday’s All-Ireland hurling replay against Galway.

The Cats have contested all of the deciders since 2006, while the men from Connacht, apart from the drawn game, are appearing in their first final since 2005, a five-point defeat to Cork.

Double All-Ireland winner Gardiner told RTÉ: “I‘d be hoping that Galway would pull it out of the fire but my head is saying Kilkenny. They are battle-hardened.

“If I was a Kilkenny forward, training for the last three weeks, my main aim would be to give Henry Shefflin a hand." - John Gardiner

“They’ve a lot of experience behind them. Galway don’t have that experience. I don’t think they’ll fear them [but] Kilkenny will rely on their experience and they will pull through in the end.”

Most commentators agree that a draw was a fair result in the first game and Galway had Joe Canning (1-09) and Kilkenny had Henry Shefflin (0-12) to thank.

With 12 points apiece, Canning and Shefflin basically cancelled each other out and Gardiner reckons that it is now time for others to step up to the plate.

“There were a lot of frees given and the lads were on top of their game with those and made them count,” he said.

“I see this game being slightly different. Both teams will have learned a lot from the last day and I think you’ll see other players and other forwards from both sides coming to the fore the next day.

“If I was a Kilkenny forward, training for the last three weeks, my main aim would be to give Henry Shefflin a hand. A lot of the forwards will feel they’ve a lot more to give.”

Gardiner also believes that Kilkenny will be able to improve on their performance from the first game, especially in regards to their sluggish start.

“They’ll definitely work on the start and think they can improve there. A lot of the stuff was left up to Henry Shefflin and he was the man to pull them back into a game they looked as if they were going to lose,” added the 29-year-old.

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Powered by NewsWhip