Galway midfielder Andy Smith believes that his side must increase their intensity ahead of Sunday’s All-Ireland SHC quarter-final against Cork.
The Tribesmen face the in-form Rebels in this weekend’s double header in Thurles looking to bounce back from their disappointing defeat to Kilkenny in this year’s Leinster final, where Smith admitted his side were lacking the intensity of the All-Ireland champions.
And the Portumna man believes that his side will learn from that defeat and take the intensity shown by Kilkenny into Sunday’s encounter as they look to book their place in this year’s semi-finals.
“Kilkenny outworked us and their intensity was more ferocious than us,” Smith told RTÉ Sport.” They wanted it more and they deserved the win.
"You can do all the training you like but it’s all about Championship wins"
“They brought a serious intensity to the game and they didn’t afford us any time on the ball and we couldn’t really pick out our men that easily as we could in the previous games. But that was full credit to Kilkenny and that was what Kilkenny are all about.
“I remember the Leinster final in 2012 when we did that to them and it was roles reversed. But we have to park that game, that game is over and done with, so it’s on the the quarter-final against Cork, which is going to be a massive battle.”
Cork come into this game with their opening-day defeat to Waterford long behind them as they have beaten Wexford and Clare en route to this quarter-final showdown with Galway.
And while Smith admits that those victories will instill confidence in the Cork side, the Galway veteran believes that his side will look to replicate Kilkenny’s intensity in Thurles on Sunday.
“It’s a do or die quarter-final. You can do all the training you like but it’s all about Championship wins and Cork have two serious wins, back to back, against Wexford and Clare.
“You can have all the game plans and tactics that you want but it’s all about who wants the ball more on the day and who wants to win that battle and hopefully we can bring that intensity that Kilkenny brought and we can bring that intensity to the Cork game.”
Galway opened their campaign with an impressive replay victory over Dublin before easing past Laois in the Leinster semi-finals and Smith also emphasised the importance of taking your goal chances as proved the difference against the Dubs.
“In the Championship so far, we started out the first day against Dublin and we created a lot of goal chances but didn’t take them and the second day, that was the difference as we took them early on and put Dublin to the sword.”