Kilkenny set for all-Ireland relaunch
You don't find Kilkenny losing many games when they score more goals than the opposition.
It was 3-1 in their favour against Wexford in the Leinster semi-final yet they still lost, which underlines the degree to which they were out-gunned on other fronts.
It has led to claims that they are a dwindling force but I wouldn't be so sure. Granted, they are not what they were in their peak years but, in a very open All-Ireland field, they remain right in the mix.
They shot nine wides in the first half against Wexford, something you don't see very often. It cost them dearly but, at the same time, they created the chances. They will feel that the waywardness was a one-off that could be corrected on the training field.
They got the toughest draw of the Leinster counties in the qualifiers but they are at home which is an advantage. Mind you, Limerick usually do well against them - remember the 2014 All-Ireland semi-final which they should have won - so this is a real test for Brian Cody and his team. However, if they come through it - and I expect they will - the mood will be very upbeat for the second round. This is where Kilkenny's experience - on and off the field - is so important.
Tipperary, Waterford and Dublin are all likely to be in Monday morning's draw with Kilkenny.