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Tipperary boss Michael Ryan hails tamed Kilkenny and manager Cody

By Declan Bogue

All-Ireland winning Tipperary manager Michael Ryan is sitting at the top of the room, being questioned on little moments of the game that has just gone before.

In his own mind, he must be swimming, allowing the glory and the satisfaction to sink in. The period where Tipp scored 1-8 to 0-2 against the Cats?

"Right, that was the swing? Right. You miss all that on the sidelines lads, I can tell you that! I wouldn't have had a clue," he admits.

The question mark ever since their last All-Ireland title, which was a remarkably similar win over Kilkenny in 2010, has been in standing toe to toe with the Cats, and mentally dealing with their challenge.

"You know I would have felt all season this team would have answered the questions that would have been directed towards them," answers Ryan.

"It's very hard to win against top-class opposition and I can say that now because we've won, but for all the other counties who have failed down through the years it is so difficult.

"We were playing the most successful team that has ever played the game and the most successful manager who has managed in any sport, as far as I'm concerned, be it hurling or football."

He continues: "That's just a tribute to where Kilkenny have taken their game over the last 12 years.

"I think there would have been a far greater share of the spoils for every county if Kilkenny weren't just as dominant as they were.

"So I wouldn't beat myself up too much or any of these previous Tipperary teams, we're certainly not happy about it but you just have to keep believing and keep doing the right things and I think that's testament to what we saw out there today."

It was a sombre Brian Cody that entered the room after. But then Cody has a sombreness about his bearing no matter the result.

Having only used two substitutes, when they were stretched all over the field, he is asked about the depth - or lack thereof - in his panel.

"You judge what's happening out there and you do what you do," he says in that way of his, shutting down the line of enquiry, before going on to praise the group of players and insist how happy he is with them.

You can't say this is the end of Kilkenny as a force, because of their track record of coming back as strong as ever, and in a different form. But Cody didn't want to get into it.

And as for potential retirements?

"No idea," he responded.

We wait and see.

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