On Brian Hogan’s scale of bizarreness, he puts Tipperary’s Lar Corbett tactic right up there at the top end.
Had he ever seen anything as unusual as a forward man-marking a defender?
“Not really, to be honest. Teams come up with different tactics. But you had two or three lads there trying the same thing.
“It was a bit unusual. But as backs you’re there to react to whatever is thrown at you.”
It wasn’t that the O’Loughlin Gaels man saw much of the commotion caused by the Corbett tactic. But he sure heard the crowd’s reaction to it.
“I didn’t see any of it, I could just hear the laughing and cheering around. I was watching where the ball was and where my own man was. Now and again you’d see the boys whizz past you.”
Hogan didn’t pay much mind to it anyway because he knew he couldn’t afford to. Although, with two Kilkenny defenders bunched alongside two Tipperary forwards, he knew that there would be space.
“I was just concentrating and focusing on my own man. When there are lads running around, you know there’s space being created, so you’re conscious of that.
“You want to have that space covered. You tend to block these things out though.”
Kilkenny are used to other counties shaking up things to attempt to put them out of synch but Sunday was one of the stranger days.
“It’s something that happens against us. Teams come up with variations and you have to deal with that. It can be unusual. But as much as you can, you try to stick to your own game plan.
“Tipperary’s plan of running around can be very effective and has been before against us. You can’t rock up with no plan against teams and hurl as usual. You’re aware what Tipp bring to it with their movement and speed.
“But we’ve a lot of seasoned campaigners in our defence and they’re very good for communicating.”
After their mid-summer drama, Kilkenny are back where they want to be with an opportunity to exact revenge on Galway. Hogan said the team never had any doubts that they had the ability to bounce back from their first provincial defeat since 2004.
“Everyone had to look at themselves to see if there was something left in the tank. We were as keen for it as ever, though.
“We just needed to go back to the drawing board, much like the league final the year before against Dublin.
“We needed to be honest with ourselves, get back to basics and that’s what we did.”
On Sunday, Hogan showed little effect from the calf injury that ruled him out of the quarter-final against Limerick last month.
“It helped that no matter how tired I was during the game, I knew that I couldn’t be as bad as Tommy and Jackie, who were after doing two marathons I reckon,” he smiled.
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