Con just accept season is finished
NOW that the dust has started to settle, Brian Hayes admits Cork Constitution have come to the terms with the abrupt end to their domestic season.
With the the Cork Charity Cup and the Munster Senior Cup already in the bag, the Temple Hill side were set to face Lansdowne in the Bateman Cup decider at Clonmel RFC last Saturday.
They had also recorded 14 straight victories in Division 1A of the All-Ireland League but the Coronavirus pandemic ultimately put paid to their hopes of securing back-to-back top flight titles.
“The initial couple of days we were all kind of taking aback, foolishly I suppose looking at how things turned out now.
“You’re almost stuck in a bubble when it comes to sport that you think it’s the most important thing in the world in a lot of cases,” the 29 year-old second-row acknowledged.
“The more it has gone on, the more everyone had realised it is what it is and it’s the ‘move on to next year’ approach.
“In the grand scheme of things, if you start seeing sporting events happen again it will be a good sign that we are starting to return to normal from a societal point of view. I think it’s something to keep everyone looking forward.”
The Leeside outfit had been the standout team in the league and were 11 points clear of Munster rivals Garryowen with just four rounds left to play. Yet since the play-off format was reintroduced for the 2014/15 campaign, it has thrown up some interesting anomalies.
Despite finishing fourth in the league standings three years ago, Con went on to claim their fifth league title courtesy of knockout rounds successes over Lansdowne and Clontarf.
With this mind, Hayes said the club have no reason to feel aggrieved about the IRFU’s decision to declare the current season ‘null and void’.
“I saw there in the Belgian they awarded Club Brugge the league title and you see with Liverpool in the Premiership.
“With us, it’s completely different. You couldn’t have accepted any decision because the play-offs obviously add so much to it. Everything up to that point is really irrelevant as we proved a few years ago by coming fourth.
“It’s a great league to play in, but a big part of it is the final. That’s the best part of playing in it.
“You get to the final and you’ve the week off work with the lads. It wouldn’t have been any way the same,” Hayes added.