Kilkenny manager Brian Cody was not surprised Offaly proved such doughty opponents in the Leinster SHC quarter-final clash in Tullamore.
Cody was speaking in the aftermath of a 0-26 to 4-09 victory for the All-Ireland champions on Sunday.
Ollie Baker’s outfit did hold the lead at half-time, but a series of quick points after the resumption steadied the Cats and they ran out comfortable enough winners, despite conceding four goals.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Cody was happy that his advanced are through to a semi-final, but was not surprised by the challenge mounted by the opposition.
He explained: It’s the first round of the Championship, we were expecting a huge battle and we certainly got it. They rattled us early with goals and that gives a team a bit of a cushion and great heart.
"They have a huge amount of ability in their team and great physicality so they will be a handful for all teams.
"They scored four goals in the game, but they were not all a result of winning high balls, they were well-created scores as well.
"But we weathered the storm and the last goal was more or less the last puck of the game so we’re happy to come away with the win."
"They have a huge amount of ability in their team and great physicality" - Brian Cody
The Kilkenny boss was, however, pleased that his side found their scoring touch to gain an advantage they would not relinquish.
"We have no idea what’s going to happen when you go to play the game. You go out to try and play the best that you can and counteract anything that they throw at you.
They threw an awful lot at us from every aspect and counteracting it was difficult but we pegged it back.
We got no goals obviously so four goals is the equivalent of 12 points so we had a lot of point taking to achieve to win the game.
"But we did do well and scored 26 points and missed half as much again so we’re happy enough to move on to the next level.
"I think there is huge talent in Offaly. They are a very big team physically powerful and very athletic with an awful lot of hurling so nobody is going to fancy meeting them.
"We have the winners of Dublin and Wexford now and they have a huge advantage with an extra game coming up next weekend so we’ll see who comes out of that and take it on from there."