Cork manager Ronan McCarthy praised his team's performance after they comfortably saw off Laois at Thurles to book a place in the Super 8s.

The Rebels will be playing in Division 3 of the Allianz League next year, while the O'Moore men can look forward to life in Division 2.

But that wasn't reflected in the action at Semple Stadium, with Cork leading from the 18th minute onwards.

McCarthy's side had a very strong third quarter, taking a five-point lead at the break, and outscoring Laois by 3-05 to 0-03 points in the first 15 minutes of the second-half to kill off the game as a contest.

"It isn't often you're that comfortable in a big game like that," McCarthy told RTÉ Sport's Darragh Maloney afterwards.

"Elements of our play, particularly at the start of the second-half, were scintillating.

"We were never in danger, but the message that we've giving the team throughout the year is that you keep doing the right things no matter what the score is.

"We got very sloppy, but we had enough of a cushion to see us home."

Cork came into the game off the back of an encouraging performance in the Munster final, as they pushed Kerry all the way at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

But doubts remained about how they might recover against the in-form midlanders.

"We had two weeks, which is critical," said McCarthy of the break. "I think that's so important. It gives you a chance to come down after the Munster final, and build up again to the game."

It puts Cork into the same group as Tyrone, Connacht champions Roscommon, and Jim Gavin's Dublin.

Indeed it's a daunting trip to play the five-in-a-row chasing Dubs that awaits McCarthy's side on Satuday, but McCarthy says it's a game they're looking forward to.

"This is where every player wants to be, playing the All-Ireland champions above at Croke Park. What more could you want?

"If you don't want to be there, you shouldn't be here at all."

Sugrue had no complaints about the result

For Laois, it was a disappointing end to a year which saw them complete back-to-back Allianz League promotions.

For the second year on the spin, they missed out on a place in the Super 8s after losing a round four qualifier.

"A tough day at the office" according to Laois manager John Sugrue. "We came up against a brick wall today, and just couldn't get over it.

"They're hard learnings. We've progress made, but progress is hard got the further up you go.

"We probably missed one or two chances at the time (early on), and might have got a free or two.

"0-12 0-7 at half-time, we probably had something to hold on to, and we felt we that we could make a little bit of progress.

"But a goal straight after the throw-in practically, and then you're facing an uphill battle. Cork go through, and rightly so, they brought better intensity to the game today."

It was a third consecutive weekend with a match for Laois, but Sugrue wasn't using it as an excuse afterwards.

"If you go the back door, that's what you're faced with. And there shouldn't be an advantage by going the backdoor. Our boys looked a little bit leggy today, but that's it.

"Our boys battled to the finish, you can't ask a whole pile more out of them."