After two classics on Saturday and Sunday, we can finally look back on a hurling weekend this summer and say it was a true classic. Tipperary and Kilkenny advance to the All-Ireland Final, and they will lock horns in three weeks’ time. We take a look at what all this means for the Pundit Arena Hurling Power Rankings.
1. Kilkenny (+1)
After seeing off a powerful Waterford performance over 140 minutes of hurling, Brian Cody’s Cats are back at the top.
Kilkenny were pushed all the way in Thurles, but the replay was different as they dictated the terms in which the game was played. Again, the difference came down to the raw amount of match-winners Kilkenny boast. When TJ Reid is off form, it is Richie Hogan. When Hogan misfires, Colin Fennelly can step up.
They are favourites for the final, just.
2. Tipperary (-1)
Despite reaching the final seeing off Galway yesterday, the Premier drop a place. This is more down to Kilkenny than themselves.
It was the first real test that Tipp have had this summer, and they had enough to get over the line.
However, the intensity and the skill did not match that of Kilkenny this weekend.
One reservation was the reluctance of Michael Ryan to replace Séamus Callanan when it was not going well for the Drom Inch man. Instead Noel McGrath was called ashore.
In the 2014 All-Ireland final replay, Cody called off Richie Hogan when the Cats were behind. On the evidence of yesterday, Ryan does not appear to have that ruthless streak.
3. Waterford (+1)
As the Déise plot for 2017, few would argue that they are nestled neatly behind Tipp and Kilkenny. Credit where credit was due, Derek McGrath’s side proved all their doubters wrong over 140 minutes of hurling.
They were unable to land that knockout blow, and who knows if they will get as good a chance again.
Nonetheless, they are a coming force.
4. Galway (-1)
The Tribesmen huffed and they puffed, but they could not blow the Premier away. The loss of Joe Canning was crucial, while Cathal Mannion was far from his best.
Will this team ever get over the line and win an All-Ireland? Since 1988 when they won it last, they have entered each Championship as probably the third/fourth best team in the country. 2017 will be no different.
5. Clare (no change)
6. Wexford (no change)
7. Cork (no change)
8. Limerick (no change)
9. Dublin (no change)
10. Offaly (no change)
11. Westmeath (no change)
12. Laois (no change)
13. Kerry (no change)
14. Carlow (no change)