James Woodlock: Tipperary must improve to beat Rebels

Updated: Friday, 15 Aug 2014 19:52 | Comments

James Woodlock will be part of a key midfield battle on Sunday
James Woodlock will be part of a key midfield battle on Sunday


Tipperary have already seen off Galway and Dublin by a combined total of 22 points but James Woodlock insists they must improve if they are to beat Cork.  

A place in the All-Ireland final against Kilkenny awaits the winners of Sunday’s Croke Park showdown (3.30pm).  

Since the Munster loss to Limerick, the Premier County have fought back to reach the last-four and the Drom and Inch midfielder Woodlock suggests they still aren’t firing on all cylinders.  

Woodlock cites the narrow league final defeat to Kilkenny as a vital moment in their season.  

Asked if the loss dented their confidence, he told RTÉ Sport: “No, I turn around and say it raised our confidence. After having a bumpy start, we came back and played a top-class team - the benchmark, I suppose, in the country and we all felt that we were very unlucky to lose that match.  

“So we were really in a good place coming into the Limerick game and it just didn't happen for us on the day. While we played well for long periods we were still pipped at the post.  

“We trained hard and we gave a commitment to each other that we’d bring our best performance out.  

“That didn’t happen against Galway, or Offaly, or Dublin the last day. We’re hoping to bring it out in an All-Ireland semi-final on the biggest stage in Croke Park.

“It’s going to take Tipperary’s best performance of the year to beat Cork, or to even match them, to be honest, and we know that. We have to be at our absolute maximum on the day to even draw level with Cork,” he added.

Tipperary ready for Rebels


Naturally enough, Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s side, as current Munster Champions and 2013 All-Ireland finalists, come in as many people’s favourites.

And despite the intense rivalry between the teams, Woodlock has immense respect for the Rebels.

"There’s a great rivalry between both counties, and it’s a friendship rivalry," he said.

"I think both counties have huge hurling respect for each other and both sets of supporters going up the one road to Dublin is going to make a superb day.

"As someone looking in from the outside, not me, might say, they are just two hurling teams, purest hurling teams but I think there is also an edge to [Cork] as well.

"I saw Cork in a Munster final and they were able to eke out the win. They worked hard for a lot of the game, they had a game plan and they stuck to it the whole way until it kicked really into gear in the second half with a Seamus Harnedy goal.

"I just think that Tipp at the moment have struggled along but we’re at the same position.

"While they are Munster champions, we’re still in an All-Ireland semi-final. We’re looking forward to it."

Watch live coverage of Cork v Tipperary on RTÉ Two from 1445 on Sunday next. Live also on the RTÉ Player and worldwide on GAAGO.

Live radio coverage on RTÉ 1 from 1400. 

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