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Cork boss Matthew Twomey ignoring the favourites tag

August 5th, 2023 3:30 PM

By Matthew Hurley

Cork boss Matthew Twomey ignoring the favourites tag Image
Cork manager Matthew Twomey.(Photo: Ryan Byrne/INPHO)

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GIVEN this is Cork’s third All-Ireland senior final in a row and it’s Waterford’s first since 1945, it’s easy to understand why the Rebels – an established power at this level – are the favourites to win the O’Duffy Cup on Sunday (5pm throw-in).

However, Cork boss Matthew Twomey is not entertaining that talk.

‘That’s only talk outside our dressing room. We have no talk like that,’ Twomey says.

‘The last two games (against Galway and Kilkenny) we went in as underdogs and took no notice of that either. We’re too long in the tooth now for that, we have a lot of experience so we know there is a massive task ahead of us.’

Twomey only has to point to Cork’s most recent meeting with Waterford: a 1-18 to 1-15 defeat to the Déise in the Munster senior championship in April. Waterford might be viewed as the underdog, but they’re a team on the up. Look at last year’s All-Ireland semi-final between this Sunday’s opponents, as Cork came from five points down in the second half to win an epic (0-15 to 0-10).

‘I think they have been beaten once all year,’ Twomey pointed out on this week’s Star Sport Podcast.

‘We were beaten by three points in Munster, but that flattered us. They were a far better team than us on the day. Physically and everything they blew us out of it. We weren’t complacent going into that game either and they blew us out of it.

‘If you want to go physical with them, they love it. If you want to go hurling with them, they love it. It’s for us to come up with a system trying to be as competitive as we can and just come up with a game plan and stick to it.’

A big plus for the Rebels is the return of Aisling Thompson, Orla Cronin and Laura Hayes after injury layoffs. The dual stars in Hannah Looney, Libby Coppinger, Aoife Healy and Orlaith Cahalane also have one sport to focus on. Twomey is now in a position where he has lots of options, which has not always been the case this year.

‘We were playing Down and there was obviously a fixture clash when the ladies footballers were playing Galway. We had potentially 19 players fit out of a panel of 32 and that’s 100 percent legit. That’s where we were,’ he says.

‘With all these players back again, it is great.’

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