Friday 20 October 2017

Fine-tuned Tipp must be wary of Treaty

Eamon O'Shea, Tipperary manager
Eamon O'Shea, Tipperary manager

John Mullane

JUNE 1 is a date that Tipperary manager Eamon O'Shea and his players will have been looking forward to for a very long time.

O'Shea has consistently stated throughout the league that this is the day that matters above all others and I think Tipp will be fine-tuned for this fixture.

Unlike last year, there will be no complacency from Tipperary and I expect them to get the job done.

But Limerick are a funny crowd and the type of county that doesn't let managerial upheaval affect them.

If they're right in there with 15 or 20 minutes to go, they could do the unthinkable again and beat Tipp.

But I just feel that Tipp are going in the right direction and I'm backing them to win by five or six points.

Limerick won't fear Tipp and despite Donal O'Grady's departure, the players will realise that they still have a really good base to work from.

They're reigning Munster champions and being written off will provide further motivation.

Two years ago, they came to Thurles and lost a game that they led by seven points with less than 20 minutes left.

They were also fully deserving winners against Tipp at the Gaelic Grounds last year so Limerick will wonder why they're being written off.

There's talk that the Shannonsiders have abandoned the short style of play for the more direct route since O'Grady left and that could spell trouble for Tipp.

Limerick are going back to a style where they're in your face, dogged and can play with freedom and abandon.

But after being thrown badly off course in 2013, O'Shea will be stressing to his players just how important it is to go the direct route this time.

And the obvious way to do that is to beat Limerick and get into a Munster final.

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