Monday 20 May 2019

John Mullane: 'This Limerick team has everything - and the scary thing is they haven't even reached their peak'

Limerick players Diarmaid Byrnes, right, and Gearóid Hegarty celebrate after the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Final match between Limerick and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Limerick players Diarmaid Byrnes, right, and Gearóid Hegarty celebrate after the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Final match between Limerick and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

John Mullane says that Limerick's comfortable league final win over Waterford is a 'frightening' statement of intent ahead of another assault on the All-Ireland championship this summer.

The Treaty county won a first league title since 1997 following a 1-24 to 0-19 victory at Croke Park, with Limerick manager John Kiely saying after the game that thoughts have already turned towards claiming more trophies this summer.

Limerick became the first county other than Kilkenny to follow an All-Ireland win with a league crown since Galway in 1989 and Mullane thinks that the All-Ireland champions are in a strong position to add more silverware in 2019.

Speaking on The Throw-In, Independent.ie's GAA podcast in association with Allianz, Mullane marvelled at Limerick's display in sweeping aside his county.

"The most frightening thing about yesterday is that this Limerick team haven't reached their peak yet," Mullane said.

"I was in the upper tier and the contrast between the Limerick and Waterford movement was chalk and cheese. This Limerick team have everything - physicality, power, pace. They are slick, they can play any way. The ball into the inside line is a 70/30 ball every time.

"I thought if Waterford went with a similar plan to Dublin then they might be in it coming down the home straight but we didn't see that yesterday.

"To beat this Limerick team, you have to have a really strong half forward line. Limerick are very similar to Kilkenny under Brian Cody. They are able to mix it any way you want."

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While Waterford surprised many to qualify for the league final, Mullane was left disheartened by the Deise's display, stating that he felt the Waterford players 'downed tools' in the closing stages as Limerick pulled clear.

"From a Waterford point of view, the most worrying thing for me was the body language of some of our players," Mullane said.

"I thought the body language wasn't there. It's hard to know what you put it down to. They were out the last four weekends but the first three of those, they finished very strong. With 15 minutes to go yesterday they were only four or five points down but they were a beaten docket. Going into the championship that would be a big worry for me if I was Paraic Fanning. Outside of Kevin Moran, a lot of our players downed tools."

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