Lots of head scratching this evening. I hadn't seen Tipp in the flesh in over a year, but having attended the League Final the three things that struck me were (1) they lack a bit of pace, all over the field really (2) their midfield and half-forward line don't get through enough donkey-work, and (3) I would have rated Barrett and Cahill but they were both roasted on that day.
Still and all, I tipped Tipp as I couldn't see Cork bringing the defensive nous and the work-rate required in the middle of the field. Early doors there were all the signs that Cork's laissez-faire attitude to defending was still in force, but quickly Spillane, Ellis, Coleman and Fitzgibbon stormed into the game and with a serious platform like that in defense delivering intelligent ball forward, Cork's forwards will always do damage.
Tipp's strength in depth, much vaunted when their B team snoozed past a disinterested Waterford earlier in the year, seems to have evaporated. If Barrett is out long term, it's a massive loss as I reckon the Qualifiers will be a real minefield this year and will feature Kilkenny. I'd fancy Cork to get past Waterford and after that the year opens up for them.