Brian Cody was pointing towards nothing only a poor performance in explaining Kilkenny’s nine-point defeat.
Kilkenny were without six of the team that started last year’s All-Ireland final as their lack of resources was shown up but there were no gripes from their manager.
“Colin (Fennelly) was close to being able to play but we wouldn’t take a chance with him. Paul Murphy is not right, Michael (Fennelly) is not right and Conor Fogarty is still not back either. But at the end of the day, it’s not about who we were missing; it’s about who we were playing, because we talk ourselves about our panel. We use our panel and that’s it.”
When quizzed about the reasons behind the comprehensive nature of the result, Cody shrugged: “Because they were much better than us — that’s the only reason.”
He had anticipated beforehand that a difficult game was in prospect. “I’d no doubt they were going to be very, very good. I rate them very, very highly and it was always going to be a very, very difficult game for us.
“But at the end of the day, they got the lead early, they kept it, we came back to an extent in the second half but they were comfortable the whole way through.”
Kilkenny are not in action again until June 11 but Cody refrained from stating who will be available for that Leinster semi-final against Dublin or Wexford.
“You can never say because you don’t know what’s going to happen in the meantime, and lads are playing club matches next weekend and they’ll play a couple of club matches again before the championship kicks in.
“But injuries are part and parcel of it, and they’re never an excuse.”
He did, however, confirm James Maher is out for the foreseeable future.
“James got a serious injury — he fractured his kneecap in an accident at home on the farm, so he’s really unfortunate. He’s going to be out obviously for a while.”
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