John Kiely’s senior hurlers take on Waterford in their second game of the 2019 Munster Hurling championship. Defeat was Limerick’s lot in the opening game at the Gaelic Grounds against Cork and now Limerick travel to Walsh Park knowing they must get a result from the game.
From their remaining three games, Limerick will be looking to come away with at least five points to match their total from 2018.
Kiely will be keen on taking each game one at a time, starting with Waterford on Sunday. Limerick will look to begin with the intensity that served them so well last summer. They were surprisingly flat against Cork, as they were outworked by the Rebels which ultimately led to defeat.
Speaking after the game, Kiely acknowledged how Limerick were outworked against Cork and alluded to the fact that Cork came into the game with a championship match under their belt.
“I thought we were in a really good position at half time but Cork showed the greater urgency in the second half. They showed the greater hunger in the second half and were first to the ball far more often.
“That’s the bottom line. If you’re not on the ball and don’t take your chances, you ain’t going to have a chance. You never really know until you have that championship match where you are at.”
Waterford have been beaten in both their games thus far but will still harbor some hopes of progressing to the knockout stages should various results go in their favour.
Pauric Fanning’s men are sure to be buoyed by the home crowd in Walsh Park after a loss in their opening game there against Clare a fortnight ago.
Yet, Kiely is focused about getting his side in the right frame of mind instead of focusing on the opposition. Limerick have shown over the past 18 months that they can beat anyone should they perform.
The Cork game was an indication of what can happen if Limerick do not pay to their strengths and Kiely is looking at the performance of his own team, first and foremost.
“I’m sure they will want to show a great deal of pride at home. But, it is all about ourselves. We have to have a good long look at ourselves before we look at anyone else.”
While it is mathematically possible that Limerick can progress even if beaten by Waterford, the chances are very slim. Limerick will look at this game as a chance to get back on track ahead of gruelling clashes against Clare at home before finishing their Munster campaign in Semple Stadium.
Ahead of the must win clash, Kiely is bullish in his assessment of what his needed by his side.
“I see very little chance of us making it through without getting a result down there. We lost our first game, we need to get something out of that second game. We have to go and get a result, simple as that.”
Limerick’s minor hurlers also play Waterford on Sunday. That game as a 12pm throw in, while the senior game begins at 2pm.