Derek McGrath labels Cork forwards ‘as good as any’

Derek McGrath heaped praise on the Cork attack yesterday, saying their forwards are “as good as any”.

Cork hit 1-21 in their win over Waterford and the Déise boss said: “I think they have the best sextet of forwards in the country. Kilkenny had four of the six on Saturday night, TJ (Reid), Richie (Hogan), Colin (Fennelly), and Walter Walsh. Add Ger Aylward to that.

“Tipp have six too, but I think Cork’s six are as good as any.”

McGrath said Waterford now face a quandary ahead of their final league game: “We weren’t looking that far forward but we’d been saying if we got two points against Cork that we’d change it up and bring some freshness to the team.

“Now we’re facing a situation, do we stick or twist?

“I think we’ll twist, there’s a staleness based on three years in a row of being able to name 13 of our 15 players.

“That’s what I can see. I can also see a difference between U21 and senior in terms of the expectancy, that possible blip in terms of where we’re going. We’re dragged into it now, but we’re not going to be in the dressing-room saying ‘there’s no way we’re going to Division 1B’, we’ll take the other approach.”

Cork selector Pat Hartnett said the Rebels “were doing themselves justice” after the win.

“We’re seeing where we are. We were disappointed last week that we didn’t continue the way we played in the first half, but we did today.

“But it’s still only two points.

“What’s more important is that fellas are doing themselves justice, and playing to their ability.

“You’re trying to get the chemistry right with the individuals, so from that point of view there’s progress.”

The former Cork star added that ‘consistency’ is what he and the management are looking for.

“Some lads have a lot of miles in their legs for this time of year so we’ll have to check on them, but it’s two points only. We need to keep everything in context. Consistency of performance is what we’re looking for and it was good to see some good scores executed.

“It’s as important now, what you do when you don’t have the ball as when you have it.

“The will to do it is as important as the skill to do it. I saw that in Thurles Saturday night and I think you saw it here today too.

“Shane Kingston went down and Stephen McDonnell got a knock as well, so we’ll have to assess those along with Alan Cadogan.”

In terms of Waterford injuries, Derek McGrath said Jamie Barron had a suspected broken rib and that Brian O’Halloran might have injured his groin just before the final whistle.


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