Brian Hogan: How Tipp cope with Fennelly and Reid will be key

There are match-ups all over the field that will be key. That’s the great thing about Tipperary-Kilkenny matches — both sides tend to go orthodox and are 15-on-15.

Brian Hogan: How Tipp cope with Fennelly and Reid will be key

There are match-ups all over the field that will be key. That’s the great thing about Tipperary-Kilkenny matches — both sides tend to go orthodox and are 15-on-15, says Brian Hogan

“The obvious one is who is going to pick up Colin Fennelly on the edge of the square, because Colin has been arguably our most important player this year. He has been our one constants in the forward line. He sits on the edge of the square and then the rest move around him. He is the focal point.

"He is the guy that is able to hold the ball while the support players arrive on the scene. He is so physically strong that he is taking two players into the tackle. Who picks him up is a question which Tipp will have to answer.

“Down the other end of the field, the Kilkenny backs must limit the space afforded to the Tipperary forwards.

The Tipperary attack like loads of movement, they like to get loose and create space. How the Kilkenny backs manage that will be important.

“Huw [Lawlor] will be on Callanan. That is going to be a huge battle and feeding into it will be what the players do out the field to support Huw.

“Who is going to pick up TJ? There is a phenomenal half-back line there for Tipp. You have got the three Mahers (Ronan, Padraic, and Brendan). You don’t really need to say much about them, such has been their effectiveness over the years and this summer again.

“Which one of them is going to mark TJ? I don’t know. Whoever does, it is going to be a fantastic battle because the way TJ is hurling at the moment, it is going to be a tough, tough task [to limit his influence]. But if any team is equipped to do it, Tipperary, with the three Mahers, has the personnel.”

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