The main talking points of the Allianz League semi-finals...
Kilkenny v Clare (tenacity v tactics?)
Do Kilkenny really think they’re kidding us?
Colin Fennelly and Eoin Larkin are to be found in their own full-back line and it’s put down to work-rate, not the very fact they have been encouraged to play in a more retreated position when their opponents are in possession.
Tactics appear an ugly word on Noreside yet they indulge in it so much, that it shouldn’t be an embarrassment to them.
Clare are true shape-shifters but without the doggedness they have shown in recent games against Limerick and Clare, they could have all the men they want from their 65-metre line back and it would amount to nothing.
Do Limerick match Waterford’s style?
Limerick’s problem against Clare was that they were too reactionary. For the opening quarter, they looked lost, especially in defence as Clare rotated players between positions before eventually arriving at a settled enough line-up.
On this occasion, Limerick more or less know what they’re going to get from Waterford. Even more reason, then, to be prepared. Rather than starting on the back-foot, Limerick must give Waterford something to ponder from the outset.
Mirroring Waterford’s format wouldn’t be rocket science but it may give Limerick their best opportunity in a compact middle third. At the same time, they can’t let it dictate the rhythm of the game.
Will we get goals?
The clocks went forward three weeks ago. The Semple Stadium sod should be in better condition than what we saw in the last couple of months.
Excuses for the distinct lack of goals this year (other than how defensive teams are setting themselves up) will be few and far between.
Taking this year in isolation, goals now feel like bonuses. From goal shy Waterford to Kilkenny who are hardly as prolific as before (notwithstanding the six against Offaly), green flag umpires have been largely redundant and the only tangible reason seems to be how zealously teams are protecting the central area from the “D” in.
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