Tipperary secretary Tim Floyd believes the county's hurlers never recovered from their Allianz League final defeat to Kilkenny.
Writing in his report to county convention, Floyd claims the 2-17 to 2-23 reversal at Nowlan Park on April 8 was the 'root cause' of Tipp's problems in the new Munster SHC round-robin series, which failed to yield a win and led to Michael Ryan stepping down as manager.
"The biggest factor, in my opinion, was losing the league final to Kilkenny and the manner in which we were defeated," he states.
"Many of the positives gained in the lead-up to the league final were reduced to frustration and confusion. As the defeat was not as bad scoring-wise as the 2017 league final hammering by Galway, this one hurt even more because it was deja vu against Kilkenny in Nowlan Park, with it being our eighth loss against them at this venue in 10 years.
"This loss did serious damage to the players' mindset apart from unsettling the whole structure of the team."