You can throw a bone to Brian Cody but you can’t expect him to bite on it.
Not yesterday. Not ever. There’s no way he would have mentioned the referee off his own bat after this Leinster final loss at Croke Park and he didn’t exactly tuck in with gusto when the issue was presented on a plate.
It was a legitimate topic for discussion. Referee John Keenan had ‘let this one flow’ as the purists would put it, just as Fergal Horgan had two weeks ago in Wexford Park when these two butted heads like elephants at a watering hole. But it wasn’t hard to stir through the stew and pick out some ingredients that smelled foul.
Cody was asked specifically what he made of some of the marking jobs done by Wexford on Adrian Mullen and Colin Fennelly. The latter was subjected to particularly close attention from Liam Ryan 11 minutes from time when another official would surely have pointed to the spot.
It was a pivotal moment in a game that would be settled by a penalty at the other end.
“Colin would feel when he was in there a few times that he was very obviously being… finding it very difficult to get away, whatever way it was being done,” said Cody who chose his words carefully.
“I don’t want to start focusing on the referee at this stage. He’d have to look back at his game and see how he went, I suppose. We will just carry on and get ready and concentrate on the quarter-final I suppose.”
So it is with Cody. This is his code.
Kilkenny’s tally of 12 wides to Wexford’s three was mentioned too but he offered little in the way of analysis or regret there and the offerings were similarly slim when a more generalised query was offered on what, if anything, his team could have done differently as they went about looking for a first Leinster title since 2016.
“There’s nothing standing out. We probably had a few chances for points and a point was a huge score today really. It was a one-score game at the end of the day. But look, the players worked very, very hard, played with determination right through, played some great hurling.
“Like I said, we came out on the wrong side of it, from a goal, a penalty. It’s a Leinster final and we’d love to win a Leinster final, but we leave today in the quarter-final of the championship. That’s the most important thing really.”
Onwards, ever onwards with Cody.
Anthony Daly reviews the hurling weekend with Brian Hogan, TJ Ryan and Ger Cunningham. In association with Renault - car partners of the GAA.