Daithi Regan highlights "biggest single threat" to Galway against Tipp

He and Tommy Dunne look ahead to the All Ireland semi final against Tipperary

BY Raf Diallo 19:59 Friday 4 August 2017, 19:59 4 Aug 2017

Galway's Gearoid McInerney with Niall O'Meara of Tipperary ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Harking back to the epic rivalry of the late 1980s, Galway and Tipperary have been embroiled in some compelling tussles in the last two All Ireland Hurling Championship semi finals. 

In 2015, Galway prevailed by a mere point at Croke Park to reach the decider, despite the fact that Tipp managed to register three goals in the match.

The following year, Tipp got their revenge en route to the final, also beating Galway by a single point in a 2-19 to 2-18 result.

This Sunday, both sides meet again at the same stage of the Championship, having already faced each other in the Allianz Hurling Final when Galway hammered Tipp by a 3-21 to 0-14 scoreline.

Former Tipp All Star Tommy Dunne and ex-Offaly All Ireland winner Daithi Regan joined Dave on Off The Ball tonight to preview Sunday's renewal of acquaintances and 

Dunne touched on the sense of uncertainty from a Tipp perspective heading into the match.

"Tipp supporters know we've a very strong team but we're very concerned over the back-line issues. There's no point in pretending we're not and you just can't ignore Galway's form so far this year which has been outstanding," said the 2001 All Ireland winner.

Galway's Joe Canning ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

"I think Tipp supporters know that Galway could do a job on us. They have the players to really put up a score, they have huge physicality, huge pace in their forward division in particular and I think in fairness, you wouldn't have to be a genius to figure out if Clare were a bit sharper in and around the goals the last day, Tipp could be out of the Championship. So a similar performance in our back-line just won't be enough to get over Galway on Sunday."

Daithi picked out a few of the tactical areas that could swing the match in either direction, citing the way Galway hunted down Tipp players in the League final.

"It was predatory from Galway. Every time Tipp got the ball, it was just a case of put them under absolutely massive pressure to force clearances because they don't want Tipp half backs looking up and playing ball into space," he said.

"So expect McInerney, without a doubt, to sit back pretty much in and around the '21 because Joe [Canning]'s going to start dropping towards midfield, allowing Burke and Coen, who are two speedsters, to supplement the half back line. The biggest threat to Galway is that ball that comes inside to Callanan. That's the biggest single threat to Galway I think and I think he will sit McInerney back as far as possible and Joe will come out towards midfield."  

This article was brought to you in association with Bord Gáis Energy, proud sponsor of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship – keep up to date and follow #HurlingToTheCore

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