Waterford manager Derek McGrath has praised his charges for bouncing back from an abject performance in the Munster SHC final after they eased past Wexford at Semple Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Tipperary inflicted a 5-19 to 0-13 defeat on the Déise after a second-half capitulation from McGrath’s men.
However, there were no signs of any mental scars in Thurles as Waterford recorded a 0-21 to 0-11 win over Wexford to secure an All-Ireland semi-final against reigning champions Kilkenny.
“We’re delighted to be in consecutive semi-finals for the first time since 2010-11,” McGrath told RTÉ Sport.
“And it’s great for the lads.
"Obviously they were smarting from how we played two weeks ago and everyone was hurting, management were hurt.”
Expanding on just what his invested players had been through in recent weeks, McGrath said: "It’s not a case of just packing your bags and going home from training.
“There was a lot of hurt there and a lot of anger at how we played.
“And to take that baggage with you and to be able to perform in the manner that they did... I’m very proud of them.”
“We’ve a massive, formidable challenge ahead of us" - Derek McGrath is under no illusion of the task Waterford will face against Kilkenny
With a daunting clash against Kilkenny on the horizon, Waterford’s wide count in Thurles would be a cause for concern for many.
But those 17 wides didn’t overly concern the De La Salle clubman as he revealed: “I never worry too much about wides because you’re having possession, and when you overanalyse things like that, you end up losing sight of what you’re trying to do.
“I’m delighted with the overall application and the work-rate.
“We’ve never professed to be anything only hardworking and honest.
“We gave it our absolute diligent best, so I’m delighted with that overall.”
Reflecting on their Munster final mauling by a rampant Tipperary side, McGrath conceded: “It was a debacle. It was an absolute horror show.
“I’m very proud for the lads because I know what they put into it and I know how hurt they were.
“There’s an element of vocation in it for all of them when you’re playing with your own county or managing your own county.
“We’ve a massive, formidable challenge ahead of us.
“Kilkenny have dominated every opponent so far.
“But we won’t be found wanting in terms of preparation.”