GAA Expert & Columnist
Jamesie O'Connor: Kilkenny are not going away
Last Updated: 17/07/19 11:52am
Jamesie O'Connor reviews Kilkenny's win over Cork and ponders if the Cats can trouble Limerick in the All-Ireland semi-final.
You have to hand it to Brian Cody.
The one thing about the Cats, they don't beat themselves, and they don't give you anything easy.
That was the disappointing thing about the Leinster final, there was a real panic. That was just something un-Kilkenny-like.
There was none of that last Sunday. It was a typical Kilkenny performance, and they came to the battle ready to fight. Arguably not enough of the Cork guys could say the same thing.
The men in black and amber owned the ball, shut down the Cork puck-out. Particularly in that third quarter, it was a dogfight and was played on Kilkenny's terms.
After the break there was only ever going to be one winner.
Cork, on paper, might have the more talented players, but Brian Cody has an unbelievable ability to get the best of his side. The willingness to battle, fight and grind it out to the bitter end, that's the defining characteristic of Kilkenny.
Hats off to them - they rode their luck in the first half, but once they dragged Cork into the trenches, you just felt that the longer this goes on, the more Kilkenny are going to win by.
Very few of us thought that Cork could be outfought in the way they were. You've got to give Kilkenny credit for that.
Subscribe to GAA alerts!
We'll send you push notifications so you'll receive all of the big GAA news!
I think Limerick will feel they had Cork's measure. The fact Cork beat them in Munster, John Kiely's side would have had the motivation. This suddenly becomes a far more daunting proposition for the All-Ireland champions, simply because of who Kilkenny are.
Limerick played well in last year's All-Ireland quarter-final, but just about crept over the line.
The Treaty might have to be six points better than them to beat them by one.
Kilkenny now have two weeks to figure out a way of stopping this Limerick juggernaut, to negate their strengths.
The Leinster side have Cillian Buckley, Richie Hogan and Walter Walsh returning to fitness, and if they get all those guys available, they'll feel they have every chance of reaching an All-Ireland final.
They have that outstanding belief that it's always possible, simply because of who they are.
O'Connor feels the Cats will fear nobody
Where to now for Cork?
Cork are always going to hit close to the 30-point mark, but they are shipping too many scores. They conceded 2-27 on Sunday, 2-28 against Tipperary in their championship opener.
You can't keep conceding big tallies in the big games.
The Cork defence hasn't been good enough. It's back to the drawing board.
The Rebels aren't too far away. They beat Limerick earlier this summer, and were there or thereabouts last year.
Whether it's time for a new voice or whether John Meyler will consider his position, given the fact that they were beaten three times this summer, remains to be seen.
But there's still plenty of talent in that Cork team, there's still plenty of attacking firepower there.
However, they need to address their defence and squad depth if they are to make a breakthrough.
Sky Sports' live GAA coverage continues on Saturday, with Tyrone vs Cork and Dublin vs Roscommon in the Super 8s.