Don’t get the idea in your head that Derek McGrath and Dan Shanahan were trying to suss out who their Waterford side might face in the Munster final.
“We weren’t looking at potential opponents down the line or anything,” says Shanahan.
“We’re not looking past Cork for an instant, never mind Clare are waiting for the winners this Sunday. We’d have been up there anyway, and we were enjoying the game, and it was a good one.
“It certainly showed that if you hang in there and keep chipping away, you always have a chance. And that the favourites’ tag doesn’t mean anything.”
The Waterford management have gone for experience this Sunday, with Shane O’Sullivan and Shane Fives starting against Cork.
“It was a very tight call, we probably went for just a bit more experience at the back in Shane Fives because Alan Cadogan was on fire the last day, while Shane O’Sullivan is a proven man in the middle of the field.
“It was a toss of a coin between a couple of lads, Richie Foley was very close to getting the nod in midfield but probably needs a bit more match practice, and we have no doubt he’ll be at the top of his form again.
“Shane O’Sullivan has been there and knows what’s involved — so has Richie, to be fair to him — but Shane is unbelievably dedicated, he took his suspension well and trained hard to win his place for Sunday.
“It’s great that we have Richie in reserve, and he can come on and contribute. In the greater scheme of things, Shane gave a great example, too, to the younger lads the way he worked even while he was suspended.
“We were very unhappy with that suspension, we felt it should have carried over into next year’s league rather than this year’s championship, not to mention the fact that we thought it was a relatively innocuous challenge in the first place. We’ve seen plenty of challenges since which were far worse but which went unpunished, never mind meriting suspensions.”
Shanahan feels Waterford, even in their own county, are not getting recognition for their performance. “No matter whether Cork or Waterford are going well or going badly, there’s rarely anything between the sides. Fair enough, we went nine points up but Cork fought back to draw. Even for next Sunday, though, I feel we’re not getting the credit down here we deserve for the performance the first day. Cork are favourites so we’ll be going in under the radar again, to a certain extent.”
The big Lismore man has been on the field of play a good deal during games, but he says his incursions haven’t landed him in trouble yet.
“No fingers being wagged yet anyway. You have to get onto the field to get your message across, there’s no way otherwise of telling a player in the opposite corner what you have in mind as a management team. There was no problem getting on to make a switch or anything. It wouldn’t be a matter of provoking lads on the other team or anything, or pass comments to distract them. There’s none of that.”