Tommy Dunne "surprised" by comments on Tipp fixture factor

Ex-Tipp star reviews their loss to Cork in the 2017 Munster hurling opener

Tipperary, Cork, GAA, hurling, Michael Ryan, Kieran Kingston, Cork

Tipperary manager Michael Ryan and Cork manager manager Kieran Kingston shake hands after the match ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Former Tipperary hurler Tommy Dunne says he was "surprised" to hear Tipp manager Michael Ryan's points about fixture congestion factor for his county in the build up to the defeat to Cork.

In a post-match interview with Newstalk Sports' Oisin Langan after the defeat to Cork in the Munster Championship opener, Ryan highlighted Tipp's very busy schedule and that they had eight games in 10 weeks as well as club games from the start of the league all the way up to the match against Cork.

Speaking to Off The Ball on Monday night, former Tipp midfielder Dunne said he was surprised to hear those comments, although he feels it could be a "possibility" in terms of explaining Tipp's performance.

"I'll be honest with you, I was surprised when I heard it. What he points out there is possibly significant but I mean, the fixtures were made a long time ago is a fact so they would have known potentially what the plan was coming up along," he said.

"I don't know does it stand up but again I'm not in there so I don't know what the boys were seeing. It's a possibility for sure. It's certainly a possibility because the Galway game, Tipp were well off the pace and Galway annihilated them and I suppose we looked at it and said 'maybe it's a once off, these things can happen'. And then lo and behold, we come and play Cork yesterday and while we were competitive on the scoreboard, I looked at the match closely last night over an hour or two and I thought we were well off the pace. There's no question about it."  

Dunne was so impressed by Cork that Kieran Kingston's performances that they would have won regardless of the circumstances on the Tipp side.

"Even if Tipp were at full throttle, you wouldn't be certain that they could have handled Cork yesterday. Cork were exceptional. Cork were covering the ground at enormous speed and with enormous pace," he said.

"Tipp even at their best from a defensive point of view and in other areas may not have handled Cork yesterday such was the form they were in."