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Can anyone match Kilkenny ? September 3, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Sports.

And so the Kilkenny Cats have won another All-Ireland series. Well done to them – they deserved it, with no doubts. Next year they’ll be going for three in a row and one wonders, can anyone match them ?

You see, I have a massive chip on my shoulder when it comes to Kilkenny. Although you can’t help but admire them and their skills, it still p*sses me off that nobody – not one single team in Ireland – knows how to play against them.

Sure they have great players – but there are teams in the rest of Ireland that have some very skillful players too. Take Cork, Waterford or yesterday’s opponents Limerick – all have very good players. But none of them know how to play against Kilkenny.

And why ? because they’ve all caught Wexford syndrome is why. What is Wexford syndrome one might ask? Well readers, Wexford syndrome is a hurling condition seen the length and breath of this island, whereby, when a team is faced with black and amber clad players, a number of traits more commonly associated with Wexford hurling teams infect them worse than the likes of the Black Plague or the Blue Flu !

These include, but are not limited to :

1) Appalling marking
2) Headless chicken syndrome
3) Shooting wides
4) Bad concentration

Let’s look at these briefly in turn.

1) Appalling marking
Not one team in the country knows how to mark a Kilkenny team so as to render the opposition player ineffectual. Not a single team. If you were to study the game from yesterday, and especially when Kilkenny went ahead early on, at least 3 Limerick players contested each ball against one Kilkenny man. All the black and amber man had to do was find one of the three resulting free men for a score. At least 12 if not more of Kilkenny’s scores came from uninterrupted free shots at goal. Even the most average of player could put the ball over the bar 8 times out of 10 if given a free shot all the time. Add Kilkenny’s expert marksmen into the mix and it happens every time !

2) Headless chicken syndrome
This is purely as a result of (1) above. It’s the unnecessary need to chase down everything that comes in your way in a manner befitting a headless fowl, resulting in silly challenges that the likes of the Kilkenny backs just side step and laugh at.

3) Shooting wides
This is self explanatory. It happens along with (1), (2) and (4). And there is no explanation for it.

4) Bad concentration
This allows Kilkenny to come at you from the get go. Something that they are brilliant at. They had scored 2-4 before 15 minutes had gone yesterday. They didn’t have to do much after that because the other Wexford syndrome symptoms kicked in with aplomb. Even when their full back and leading forward went off injured, they still didn’t have to do anything, Except put their free shots over the bar – all long range points – didn’t bother with that putting the ball into the forwards lark – no, their wing back got 3 points and the midfield 2 points.

Teams in this country couldn’t mark a whitewashed wall with a leaky bucket of red paint. Now that really is CAT !

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1. Gerry - September 3, 2007

I was disappointed when Limerick beat Waterford, as I felt that Waterford were the only side with a chance of taking on the Cats. But twasn’t to be.

2. Rambling Man - September 3, 2007

Twasn’t Gerry. Tis true for ya. I wonder does any beaten team sit down and anaylse the videos of the games and see all the free points they give kilkenny. i mean men like shefflin standing still while taking a shot – thats how bad the marking is.

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