Galway manager Micheal Donoghue admitted Kilkenny gave his team their toughest challenge so far this season after a nail-biting draw in the Leinster hurling final but he believes today's arm-wrestle at Croke Park will help the Tribesmen in the long run.
The reigning provincial and All-Ireland champions looked to have done enough to retain their title but a late point from TJ Reid earned Kilkenny a replay, which will be played at Semple Stadium next Sunday.
It was the first time Galway had failed to win a Championship match since the 2016 All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Tipperary.
"It was a huge, intense game," Donoghue told RTÉ Sport of the 0-18 apiece encounter.
"It was scrappy enough. The challenges were tough and hard and it was nip and tuck.
"We had a two or three-point lead coming into the last few minutes and they ground it back.
"We probably hadn't had a game of that intensity for a while and that will stand us well.
"We're all looking forward to going to Thurles next week."
"I'm not sure what people mean by an arm wrestle, to me it was a game of hurling" - Brian Cody happy with his players after the Leinster final pic.twitter.com/nfNMjW1IEP— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) July 1, 2018
Kilkenny manager Brian Cody was understandably happy with his side's late rally but insisted Galway would remain favourites for the replay.
"We finished really really well," he said.
"I would be happy with the way our lads played all through the game. They were very competitive.
"Coming into the game we were not given a very good chance, understandably so playing the All-Ireland champions, and nothing changes for the next day, they would still be expected to win the game.
"But it's great experience, we had a lot of inexperience out there.
"The first half was low-scoring. We probably had chances we didn't convert and that happens.
"It opened up better in the second half. It was a tough, hard, competitive game. A real good effort from both sides.
"It went right down to the very end."
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