Shane Stapleton and Michael Verney are joined by Leo O’Connor to discuss the trajectory of the Limerick team heading into the clash with Cork.
Leo O’Connor believes his native Limerick will be up against it at home to Cork on Sunday.
Both sides are desperate for a result from the game, with the Treaty needing a win and The Rebels requiring at least a draw.
John Kiely’s men have been playing well in patches throughout this championship but showed huge heart to claim a point away to Tipperary last weekend.
Cork came from well behind to level with Clare late on, before Diarmaid Ryan broke their hearts with a late winner from distance.
O’Connor knows this Limerick panel very well having managed Declan Hannon and Graeme Mulcahy to a 2011 Munster U-21 hurling title, before guiding a minor side including Kyle Hayes, Seamus Flanagan and Peter Casey to a Munster final in 2015.
“Next weekend’s match will be off the Richter Scale, it is going to be mental,” says the Offaly Under-20 boss.
“Cork are coming up with a freshness, with a bone, with a thorn stuck in their paw saying ‘you’re not going to do this again’.
“It’s Pat Ryan’s first time facing Limerick in championship, and there’s so many tussles here.
“I’ll turn around and say it before it ever even happens: the Cork bench next Sunday is going to be huge. What they’re bringing to it.
“We can look at our positives, our consistencies with Limerick, but ultimately it’s really going to boil down to workrate, who wants it and, as you said, are we on the ropes?
“Are we going to throw the final punch that will get us out of trouble? It really is in the melting pot, and it’s going to be a unique occasion.
“I know we can talk about it was brilliant to have 38,000 and we have had it in the past… but my God, Limerick are on the ropes next weekend against Cork, and Cork are chomping at the bit.
“They went down to Ennis and put up a performance but were just pipped.
“They were eight points down at one stage and still came out of it; I know they were pipped, but it was tiredness more than anything.
“I know they were beaten, but Cork are in a very strong position coming down to Limerick.”
“I think physically (Limerick) qre fine and they finished the game really well,” adds O’Connor, who was previously part of the Limerick Underage Hurling Academy.
“Tipp have improved and are a different team, to be quite honest with you.
“I think the introduction of new players — Bryan O’Mara, Gearoid O’Connor — they have brought a new lease of life to a Tipp team that were found wanting last year.
“I thought Tipp were that little bit fitter coming down the home straight… Tipp ended up having to draw the game.”
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