Tony Considine: Cork need fresh tactics but also must demand more from a talented group of hurlers

High time the Rebels started repaying the faith the management has shown in them after losing so many big matches
Tony Considine: Cork need fresh tactics but also must demand more from a talented group of hurlers

Mark Coleman gets his pass away against Limerick at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

IN MY preview I asked a few questions.

One was of Limerick. Not about their ability or the outstanding hurlers they have, or their commitment, just would they have the real hunger they have shown before? After all, this team is almost six years on the road. 

The other question I asked about Cork was would they bring something different to this championship, and especially against Limerick that we have not seen before? You know what, being in Cork early on Sunday, most of them were showing no confidence whatsoever in this Cork team or its management. 

I thought they were being a bit harsh, but after 75 minutes of watching them, I can see how right they were. The questions I asked were answered by both. Limerick showed all the hallmarks of a great team and great men. I know some of these guys from the club scene and no one got carried away with their tremendous success, feet solid on the ground, just what you would expect from a John Kiely-managed team, a real sound man also. 

All that matters is the game and how well you perform. Respect for the jersey at all times, completely committed to the cause.

Cork on the other hand brought nothing new. It was as poor a performance as the All-Ireland final; they have nothing learned from that defeat, a big disappointment for all Cork supporters. 

Cork supporters bring colour and noise against Limerick. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cork supporters bring colour and noise against Limerick. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

They keep doing the same thing, the same tactics. Surely it is time to change. 

Defending their goal is very poor, no real cut-throat defending, playing as individuals, no savaging the man with the ball coming through. I don't mean 'dirty play', it's called proper defending, doing the basics. 

This seems to be all over the field. Forwards letting defenders come out at ease. 

Four Limerick defenders scored 0-11 between on Sunday. The way the game is played now you are an attacker one minute and a defender another minute. Cork do not seem to have the mindset for that.

The one thing I would say is Limerick were not at their best, there is room for improvement. Waterford will be way tougher, but knowing John Kiely he will want his team to lay down a marker. He will be expecting a lot more from Cian Lynch, Tom Morrissey, Kyle Hayes and Graeme Mulcahy, a great way to have it.

CALL THEM OUT

Kieran Kingston is a sound man as well but he has to get a bit more ruthless. A lot of his players do not work hard enough for the team and they tend to give up a bit too easily. Time to call them out. 

One basic requirement is work ethic. Cork do not show consistency in that department. They also need to change their game-plan, they are not going to beat the real strong teams if they persist that way.

It is too easy to play against them. It was never easy playing against Cork in the past but they seem to have forgotten about that. This is where strong management comes in; let the blade down with these guys. It's time players started grabbing those chances and repay the faith that has been shown in them.

A question I have, if Seamus Harnedy was fit to come on, why did he not start? Strange one for me. He did improve matters when he came on, for a while, maybe it would be better to start someone like him, who is a leader, and see how long he lasts, rather than bringing him on when the game is almost gone out of reach.

Cork have a few weeks to think about it now and try and get it right for the next day out against Clare. The selectors need to get rid of the silly mistakes. After all it is a collective thing and that is the one strong point they must get across. Limerick on the other hand, are starting their roll again.

I'm sure they have bigger things in mind. I also notice that one of their former players, who should still be playing only for serious injury, is becoming a very accomplished hurling analysist with RTÉ: Shane Dowling.

I could see how he has learned about the game from Kiely and company. Well done Shane.

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