"We never thought it - that's for sure. And if anyone wanted proof that mention of a Kilkenny decline is premature, they got plenty evidence out there tonight. They are - and will be - a very formidable team."
Tipp manager Michael Ryan didn't allow himself to be distracted by talk of Kilkenny's demise.
"We showed the spirit tonight that we always need to show. I would imagine several questions were being asked of the players. It was an important challenge we faced tonight and we faced it well. The response was good but the thing is only starting."
Write off Brian Cody and the Cats at your peril!
"That is massive for us. Whatever happens next year is a bonus, I still think we are miles off where we need to be and I'm telling you that straight. We are. But by God they'll fight it out and they'll do what has to be done."
Davy Fitz's midas touch has rubbed off on Wexford.
"There were an awful lot of missed pick-ups, missed tackles, dropped balls, wrong decision-making. It was just one of those games where pure heart, pure character and pure spirit would get you across the line."
Clare joint-manager Gerry O'Connor admitted that their two point victory over Dublin wasn't a game for the purists.
"Can't fault the effort, can't fault the character of the team in the second-half. We needed to be a bit more ahead."
Ger Cunningham and Dublin currently occupy the wooden spoon position in the Division 1A table.
"To come down here, (to play) one of the best three teams in Ireland, with possibly a full team. But we're keeping it in context. We're realists. Everyone on the selection committee has played themselves. It's disappointing when you don't do yourself justice, but we did ourselves justice today."
Cork will be looking to build on their morale boosting win over Waterford according to selector Pat Hartnett.
"I keep saying it, and then you're accused of deliberately playing it down, they're 20-21 years of age. In life, when you get a groundswell of opinion saying you're the answer to all prayers, it's difficult to deal with. I don't think he's (Austin) struggling to deal with it."
Deise boss Derek McGrath jumped to the defence of 'Hurler of the Year' Austin Gleeson.
"It probably went according to script to be honest - we wanted to get a few goals and we got goals, we wanted to keep a clean sheet goals-wise ourselves and we conceded one sloppy goal that we shouldn't have conceded and that's disappointing."
John Kiely's Limerick registered a facile Division 1B victory over Laois.
"There was a strong wind but in fairness to Kerry they came out of the traps fast and our boys did not respond. We had to grind to go in three points up at half-time but we came out in the second-half and had a better performance."
Micheál Donoghue was happier with Galway's second-half display against Kerry.
"It was a positive performance in that we set ourselves a target of not conceding as many goals and we did that, albeit with the help of two nice umpires, but we will take all the help we can get. Jordan Conway was outstanding and we are now in good shape for our crucial meeting with Offaly."
There were some encouraging signs for manager Fintan O'Connor in the Kingdom's performance against the Tribesmen.
"I am very happy to be top of the league. What more do you want, four games and we are top of the league, you would take that at the start of the season any day."
Mickey Harte and the Red Hands are perched proudly at the top of the Division 1 table.
"We have a five/six day turnaround to Mayo and then Kerry after that. They are huge games but we are not going to learn without being punished for those mistakes. Cavan have a lot to learn and they need to learn fast and one of the things they have to improve on is their decision-making."
Life in Division 1 is proving to be tough for Mattie McGleenan and his Cavan players.