Cody happy with three extra weeks

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Kilkenny boss Brian Cody says the fact that his side have had to train for an extra three weeks in preparation for the All-Ireland hurling final replay is "no hardship whatsoever."

Galway and Kilkenny played out a thrilling 2-13 to 0-19 draw in the final just under three weeks ago, meaning there would be a replay in the hurling for the first time since 1959, when Kilkenny and Waterford had to meet twice to decide the destination of the Liam MacCarthy Cup.

The extra match has meant three extra weeks of training for the two sides, and such an unexpected extension to the year isn't necessarily the easiest thing to deal with, especially for a team with as many miles on the clock and as many medals in their pockets as Kilkenny have.

However, Cody told there is nothing to complain about in their situation, as they have a chance to win another All-Ireland title.

"It's gone on three weeks longer than everyone expected it to go on but that's not a bad place to be," he told "What we're doing right now is looking forward.

"We're excited about being in an All-Ireland senior hurling final. That's not hardship. If it had to take another six, seven or eight weeks, we'd be happy enough if we could just get there and take on the challenge of trying to win it."

While he admits that in the immediate aftermath of the game the feeling of having drawn was strange, he says it didn't take long for himself and his side to focus their minds again towards an All-Ireland final.

"I suppose it was a slightly strange feeling after the game and for a few days afterwards. You're expecting everything to be done and dusted.

"You're expecting to be in either terrific form or to be savagely disappointed. But you're neither really, to an extent. You're certainly not massively delighted anyway.

"But, there's absolutely no hardship whatsoever in preparing for an All-Ireland final. This is the very same place we were a few weeks ago. The All-Ireland final is coming up and I'd settle for that anytime."

The draw on September 9 was an intense affair, with the final few minutes causing a palpable tension around Croke Park, so close was the scoreline, and so closely were the teams matched.

Cody expects a similar affair this Sunday. "The replay has the makings of a terrific game again. The last day obviously was very, very tense. A very close game. It could have gone either way."

"They were certainly on top in the first half, and we got better in the second half, and the final outcome was a draw. So look, there's obviously nothing between the two teams."

One surprising element of the last game from a Kilkenny perspective was how little Cody used his bench. He only brought on one sub in the game, Matthew Ruth replacing Colin Fennelly in attack in the final ten minutes, whereas Galway boss Anthony Cunningham introduced four subs.

Cody says not too much should be read into this, and that in general, people shouldn't look back too much to the last game for clues as to what will happen in this one.

"The bench is there to use if at all possible. We probably didn't use too many subs the last day as it turned out but look, who knows what's going to happen. The temptation is to focus on the last day all of the time but to be honest about it, we're focusing on the next day."

Video: Brian Cody

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