John Mullane believes "men won" the Allianz Hurling League final on Sunday, with Brian Cody's DNA running through the veins of the players in black and amber and manifesting itself in a ferocious second-half showing.

The Cats took the crown at Nowlan Park with a deserved 2-23 to 2-17 victory against Tipperary.

They were hungry, sharp, powerful and clinical - reminding onlookers that talk of their demise may be greatly exaggerated.

Mullane, speaking on RTÉ Sunday Sport, put the display down to the Cody's insatiable desire.

"You could see the joyous moments among the Kilkenny supporters coming out of the ground," the former Waterford forward said.

"They know this is a massive one. I have written down on the programme, 'manic work rate, manic aggression'. Men won. 

"When men were needed in the second half, Kilkenny came with all the answers. Whatever Brian Cody said at half-time... Walter Walsh came out a new man, John Donnelly stepped it up, Richie Leahy was very good, James Maher, Cillian Buckey was very good - all over the field they took over.

"From a Tipperary point of view it was very disappointing. I think only Alan Flynn and possibly Jason Forde can hold their head up. 

"The Cody traits of spirit, never-say-die attitude, keep going till the end... they were all there. They went into another gear in the second half. They bossed Tipperary all over the field."

Kilkenny begin the summer with a Leinster showdown against Dublin in May, while Tipperary start their Munster campaign versus Limerick.