Following last weekend’s exhilarating draw between Cork and Waterford, the Munster rivals go to war again on Sunday. Brian Barry is here to discuss the biggest talking points ahead of the Munster Championship replay.
Did Waterford miss their chance?
Last day out, the Déise were fancied by few, but took the game to the Rebels. So much so that they widened the gap to nine points at one stage in the second half. But the Rebels clawed their way back into the game, and Austin Gleeson’s late challenge on Anthony Nash ensured that Cork lived to fight another day.
However, did the Déise miss their chance? Was it the wake-up call the Rebels needed?
Will Cork forwards step up?
Two weeks ago, some of Cork’s main powers failed to fire. Pa Cronin failed to perform, before being eventually called ashore. Séamus Harnedy also disappointed.
Harnedy is still young, but the skill and maturity he displayed in 2013 renders him one of Cork’s go-to-forwards. The St. Ita’s man is expected to step up and chip in with a few points every game. Jimmy Barry-Murphy will need his two target men to add a few scores from play if they are to overcome this Waterford challenge.
Are Cork suffering from ‘second season syndrome’?
The Rebels did not manage to capture Liam McCarthy last year, but it was a breakthrough season nonetheless. The elation in the aftermath of wins against Kilkenny and Dublin put the Leesiders on cloud nine, and maybe they take the likes of Waterford for granted now.
However, perhaps they need to take each challenge seriously, and nothing for granted. The scare in the drawn game may be just what the doctor ordered.
Verdict: Expect another close game, but Cork won’t need to be asked twice. Waterford will fight, but JBM’s charges should just have enough at the end. Cork by 2.