Scoring 30 points is the aim for Tipperary in every game, but selector Darragh Egan knows it’s easier said than done.
On Sunday, Liam Sheedy’s side hit the 30-point mark for the third consecutive time and are now averaging over 33 points per match (100 points).
To give an idea of just how dominant they have been, Cork finished top of the Munster SHC last year with an aggregate 109 points, conceding 101 points whereas Tipperary have coughed up just 62 points with a game to go.
Egan knows Tipperary have the finishers, but it’s creating the platform for them to strike that’s just as important.
“We’ve some top-class shooters in our team. We’ve lads who can pick points from 70/80 yards and, more importantly, we’ve lads who can do it from 30/40 yards around the scoring zone.
"It’s a big focus to utilise the shooters we have and we will continue to do so.
“I’m sure we’re not going to get everything our own way in certain games and we may not hit 30 points on any given day, but that’s our target every day.”
Throughout a mixed league campaign, Sheedy was adamant in his post-match utterances that he was happy with the way the group were moving and his words are ringing true in the championship.
“Since November 16, we’ve had a clear plan in our heads,” said Egan. “We’ve worked on certain pillars and certain things in games, like where we are delivering ball and how we’re coming off the shoulder and how we’re retaining the ball inside.
“Tipperary, at the end of the day, we have a nice style of play and we want to keep that going and be able to mix it, whatever system we come up against.”
The three games have seen Sheedy opt for over three-quarters of the team that began the 2016 All-Ireland final win over Kilkenny.
Egan insists it’s not a case of going with the tried and trusted as much as the men who are proving themselves most in training.
“We have a really stronger panel, with some really strong players and it doesn’t matter if they’re 19, 24, 31 or 32.
"We’ve 12 U21s who won an All-Ireland only a few months ago, so we’re trying to blood them in as best as possible.
"A few of them have been unlucky with the heavy training load and college competitions that they picked up injuries and we just didn’t get a chance to get them in at certain times.
“We’re really trying to blood in players, but it’s the best men at training that get the jersey and we have to make difficult decisions from time to time, but it really is the top 15 that hit the field,” said Egan, who refers to the Limerick game in Thurles on Sunday week as “step four”.
With one foot in the Munster final, there may be an opportunity to experiment, but the Kildangan man wasn’t given much away.
“We’ll get back to it Tuesday night and make a plan for the next 10 days. I’m not sure exactly who is going to take to the pitch for us, but we’ll work hard and the best 15 men will start against Limerick.
"Limerick set the template in winning the All-Ireland last year and they have been hurling really well, so we’ll have areas of their games that we have to counteract and we’ll have the best men on the field to do that.”
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