TWO big games in Munster this weekend.
Limerick and Clare is a Shannonside derby game with local pride at stake. Clare and Limerick are having a good run, but with Limerick definitely qualified, most likely into the Munster final, I think this could take something away from this.
I'm sure John Kiely will rest some star players and believe he would be right to. Nevertheless, he will still be able to put out a strong 15. Being All-Ireland champions, top dogs, they will not want to lose to their old enemy.
I'm sure Brian Lohan and his management team are very pleased with the way Clare have performed, two wins, the players filled with great confidence, as well as the Clare supporters. Lohan has done a great job and the team reflects him very much.
It is impossible to get a ticket. There should be a great atmosphere around Ennis and lets hope the game lives up to that.
Limerick and Clare will be taking the back seat on Sunday though because the most important game is in Walsh Park
Waterford are classed as the second-best team in the country and the greatest threat to Limerick, by the public and most media pundits. This is a real test for them in their own backyard, where they have not lost under Liam Cahill.
They come into this game as the hottest of favourites, especially after beating Cork in the league final, very easily. That brings extra pressure on the home team though.
They have some outstanding players in Tadhg de Búrca, Calum Lyons, Jamie Barron, Conor Prunty and two outstanding forwards in Austin Gleeson and Dessie Hutchinson. Waterford need all these players playing to their best.
Cork are in a very poor situation. There has been a lot of negativity and nowhere is that bigger than from the supporters, will there be a huge crowd from Cork in Walsh Park?
Listening to a lot of Cork people you have to think there won't. It's not that they do not want to follow the team, it's just that they do not like their style of play.
I believe Cork need to get away from the scientific approach to the game. Every player seems to be programmed to play like a robot.
That does not work in hurling. Every ball they hit has to be the perfect ball, and if that doesn't come off they seem to become very affected by it. And they seem to keep looking to the line for approval.
That can really hold back a good player when they are not allowed to express themselves. They must express themselves no matter what position they are in, and a lot of people are critical about the positioning of the team too.
First and foremost you must trust your players, but more importantly, they must trust you and your methods that are best for them.
They are playing very nervy hurling, dropping balls, their touch is not good at times, very unusual for Cork players as they always pride themselves with good touch and plenty of confidence.
You could say a kind of arrogance like they always had. Time for them now to get back to that way of playing.
Defenders will have to start showing their teeth more. Sean O'Donoghue seems well able to do that and has been their most consistent player this year.
Other players need to follow his lead. I also think Cork should start Darragh Fitzgibbon at midfield. That is his best position.
You won't always get the perfect ball and you shouldn't always be looking for the perfect ball either, but working hard to keep it there, and applying pressure all the time.
This is a huge game for Cork hurling. If they win it they have a chance to stay in this championship.
With all the criticism they have been getting, mostly from their own, surely there has to be a response. At least if they are going to die, they must die with their boots on.
Should be a cracker of a game.