The second weekend of the round robin in Munster kicks off on Sunday with two old rivals facing off at Semple Stadium in Thurles.
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Both sides had different weekends last week, Tipperary suffered at the hands of Limerick in the Gaelic Grounds by 1-23 to 2-14 in what a poor was showing from the Premier in my opinion. Cork had home advantage against Clare and were pushed all the way only to run out winner 2-23 to 1-21 in the end. Michael Ryan opted to keep several big names on the bench in a decision that back fired, and he has since come out and said that. I expect to see some big names returning to the starting 15 this time around. I expect to see Michael Breen, Seamus Callanan, Brendan Maher and Patrick Maher back in the starting 15 this time around. Cork will look for another big performance from their inside forwards like Pat Horgan, while Seamus Harnedy, Conor Lehane and Darragh Fitzgibbon should also have a big say in who will win the game.
The sides will meet in the championship for the second successive year with Cork having edged out Tipperary last year in the Munster quarter final 2-27 to 1-26. They met for the 86th time in championship hurling with Cork holding a 39-38 lead in head to heads with 7 draws and 1 game abandoned.
LAST FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP CLASHES
2017: Cork 2-27 Tipperary 1-26 (Munster quarter-final)
2014: Tipperary 2-18 Cork 1-11 (All-Ireland semi-final)
2012: Tipperary 1-22 Cork 0-24 (Munster semi-final)
2011: Tipperary 3-22 Cork 0-23 (Munster quarter-final)
2010: Cork 3-15 Tipperary 0-14 (Munster quarter-final)
Tipperary beat Cork by 1-24 to 1-21 in their Allianz League clash Semple Stadium in March. Pat Horgan scored 1-10 (0-8 frees, 1-0 penalty) for Cork while Jason Forde scored 0-12 (0-7 frees for Tipperary).
Cork’s win over Tipperary last year was the first time they had beaten the Premier county in Thurles since 2006.
Cork (Munster SHC v Tipperary): Anthony Nash; Sean O’Donoghue, Damien Cahalane, Colm Spillane; Christopher Joyce, Mark Ellis, Mark Coleman; Darragh Fitzgibbon, Bill Cooper; Seamus Harnedy, Conor Lehane, Daniel Kearney; Luke Meade, Shane Kingston, Patrick Horgan
Subs: Patrick Collins, Eoin Cadogan, Tim O’Mahony, Darren Browne, Dean Brosnan, Brian Lawton, Jack O’Connor, Ron O’Shea, Jamie Coughlan, Lorcan McLoughlin, Conor O’Sullivan
Tipperary (Munster SHC v Cork): Brian Hogan; Sean O’Brien, Seamus Kennedy, Michael Cahill; Joe O’Dwyer, Ronan Maher, Padraic Maher; Brendan Maher, Billy McCarthy; Dan McCormack, Noel McGrath, Patrick Maher; Seamus Callanan, Jason Forde, John McGrath
John Meyler speaking after the Cork game told the Irish Examiner ‘’That’s what we said about this team. We need to up our work-rate on any team. They have superb skill, superb fitness, and attitude, we’ve worked on that but Tipperary next week, we’re going to have to work twice as hard.’’
Michael Ryan speaking to the Irish Independent said ‘’Well it didn’t work (not starting the five players). We didn’t get the result we were looking for and we need to turn it around and think about Cork now’’.
The bookies have installed Tipperary as 8/13 favourites, while Cork are 13/8 to retain their unbeaten start in the championship. I expect Tipperary to fire on all cylinder this time around here and make up for their loss to Limerick. The draw is 9/1 and that can be ruled out either. However, I would back John McGrath first goalscorer here at 6/1, while I would back him to get man of the match in the game.