Tipperary are licking their wounds following their shock defeat to Cork on Sunday. After an All-Ireland triumph and easing their way into the League final, the Premier were being hyped up as perhaps being unstoppable in 2017.
However, they have now lost back-to-back games, at the hands of Galway and Cork.
Both losses came as a huge surprise, with Michael Ryan’s outfit entering the two ties as heavy favourites.
Speaking on RTÉ 2FM’s Game On this evening, Loughnane explained that
“The thing about Tipperary, even though they won the All-Ireland [last year], there were big flaws in their team.
“There are big flaws in their defence with pace, and with at least two of their personnel. Their goaly [Darren Gleeson] is 36 years of age now, they always had a problem in the half-forward line with ball-winners, and they need to get an extra midfielder.
“Too much was read into the All-Ireland last year. Kilkenny were desperately poor on the day, both on the sideline and on the field.
“Tipp looked so convincing because they have such a fantastic skill level and because they have such a great full forward line.
“But if you take out that full forward line, the team, apart from the Mahers when the ball comes in top of them, are rather limited.”
This is not Loughnane kicking the Premier when they’re down. He echoed similar sentiments when speaking to Pundit Arena in January.
The challenge now for Michael Ryan and the Tipp team is to negotiate the qualifiers. To that end, they have experience in taking such a route successfully. The Premier lost their first round games in Munster in 2010 and 2014 before successfully navigating their way to an All-Ireland final.
Make sure to check out the latest episode of The 16th Man, where we review Cork’s shock win over Tipp, hearing from Luke Meade and Padraic Maher.