Tipperary's Paddy Stapleton said he always had a glimmer of hope Tipperary coming back against Wexford in their All-Ireland semi-final.
Speaking on Thursday's Hurling Show, he said his reason for hope was that he saw Wexford burning out as the game went on.
“[Tipperary] were up against it going down to 14 men but I did think there was always a glimmer of hope.
“I saw a couple of signs in the Wexford team [tiring] and I felt that the boys could almost smell it,” Stapleton said.
The two time All-Ireland winner explained;
“I thought they looked like it [fading away] because I saw with 53 minutes gone - and I couldn’t believe it - Dee O’Keeffe and another defender for Wexford went down with cramp.
“I said, ‘Woah, that is so early in a championship match to go down with cramp’. After 58 minutes then, Paul Morris, he went down with cramp,” Stapleton added.
Stapleton speculated the intensity of Wexford’s training in the build-up to the semi-final was behind their collapse.
“If you’re going down with cramp, that’s a sign of fatigue there.
“Then I’m wondering if you’re off for a month you just don’t know what training was going on.
“Whether they trained too hard coming up to the match - overcooked a little bit - or did they run the hell out of themselves in the first half?
“Then you couple it up with that tension of an All-Ireland semi-final and having not been there in so long,” the Tipperary native said.
Speaking on OTB AM last week, Diarmuid Lyng was worried this would happen to Yellowbellies.
He hoped they would avoid the fate of previous Davy Fitzgerald teams - burning out at the business end of the championship.
“This has been a factor in Davy’s management career before where there’s a huge energy output for a certain period of time and then you go off a cliff,” he said.