Lar Corbett harbours no regrets about his involvement in Tipperary’s controversial 2012 All-Ireland semi-final tactics.
Corbett infamously followed Tommy Walsh that afternoon as Jackie Tyrrell tracked the forward in a move pinpointed as the reason why Kilkenny won so handsomely.
In his Laochra Gael programme to be televised on TG4 next week, the 2010 hurler of the year maintains that the call reaped benefits for Tipperary in the first half.
The idea spawned from the 2011 final where Jackie Tyrrell had performed well against the Thurles Sarsfields man. “If the opposition team you’re playing have a game-plan and it’s working, you have to counteract it. You have to have things in place yourself and be able to change within a game to bring it to another level.
“This Kilkenny team, we were after beating them once in 2010. When it came to the crunch in league finals, when it came to the crunch in All-Ireland finals, this Kilkenny team had one over us all of the time and if we were going to go into these games doing the same thing, we weren’t going to get any different result.
“I’m not going to say who came up with the plan, what individual came up with the plan. We went out together as a team that day, right. Now, you look at that match, Tipperary went in at half-time one point up.
“In the space of 35 minutes, everybody has a problem so we had no problem in the first half and now we have a problem. The scoreline will always dictate what people think. We went in at half-time a point up and lost by 18 points. I think it’s very unfair that one guy takes the rap for everything that went on.”
Corbett was a target for spite and figure of fun after the loss but he holds no grudges over what was said about him in the county.
“Tipperary supporters are very passionate about what they do. They’re very passionate about the GAA, especially about Tipperary hurling and we have to respect that. I’d rather be playing that sport that people come and watch and show how passionate they are than playing a sport they don’t know you’re playing.”
Three years earlier, Corbett was the star as he bagged three goals in the final victory over Kilkenny. It proved to be an opportunistic year for him in more ways than that as he made the most of Tipperary stopping the Cats’ five-in-a-row bid.
“There was something that went out online, some women putting a cat into the bin, and it just went viral and that gave me an idea about a Christmas card. I saw the cat in the bin and it couldn’t have been a better time to put the cat in a bin. Funnily enough, and not many people know this, but I went down to Kilkenny; it was a guy in Kilkenny who designed the Christmas card and I gave him the idea of putting the cat into the bin and they sold like hotcakes. I think they were gone in the first week.”
Asked how he is treated in public since he retired from inter-county hurling in 2015, Corbett said: “When you are out there and you are in the public eye and you’re putting yourself out there, it’s very hard to know who’s for you and who’s not. It takes you a long time to build friendships and know people properly. That’s just who I am. I want the small, few guys around me. I only need six lads to lift the coffin.”
Lar Corbett, Laochra Gael will be screened on TG4 this Wednesday at 9.30pm
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