"We kind of played a double centre forward to an extent." - The Tipp tactics that gave Limerick a fright in 2021 2 months ago

"We kind of played a double centre forward to an extent." - The Tipp tactics that gave Limerick a fright in 2021

Jason Forde scored 0-6 from play in the first half that day.

Kilkenny were the last team to beat Limerick in the championship back in 2019 and since then, the biggest fright John Kiely's team got was from Tipperary. That was in last year's Munster final and it was a day when, with Jason Forde on fire, Tipperary went in at half-time leading by ten points.

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For all intents and purposes, it looked like the Treaty empire was about to crumble. Unfortunately for Tipperary, they couldn't sustain it and having poked the bear, Limerick roared back to win the game by five points.

Paudie Maher was one of the key pillars in the Tipperary wall that day and, on his GAA Hour debut, he spoke about the tactics Tipperary deployed which, for 35 minutes at least, had Limerick on the back-foot.

"In the first half, we played Jason off Declan Hannon and out in front of him a bit," Maher said on Monday's Hurling Show.

"Then we actually played one of the lads on the inside in behind Declan, so we kind of played a double centre forward to an extent. So the boys in the backs were getting Jason with a lot of short ball and then we'd have been hoping that would drag him out a bit, so we could go direct then with another few balls."

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That's exactly how Tipperary scored their two first half goals that day, with Jake Morris and John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer winning the breaks from direct balls in before catching Limerick on the run.

"I think you have to have the Limerick half back line out and facing their own goal," added Maher.

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"That is easier said than done because Limerick put so much pressure on the players out the field so if I'm playing at 5, 6 or 7 and coming out with the ball, you're under so much pressure. But that's where you need to have runners off the shoulder. Cork were going lateral or going back. More often than not, they were going back, but you need someone to break that first tackle and then the whole thing might open up for you."

Seeing as Limerick's half back line generally hold their position, that's a difficult thing to do but Kilkenny managed it in 2019. And Maher feels that Kilkenny did it by suffocating Hegarty and Morrissey every time they drifted out the field.

"In 2019, Kilkenny had it down to a tee. We're talking about forward lines working hard, the work the Kilkenny forwards put in that day was insane. We talk about Hegarty and Morrissey coming out and winning loose ball, they were being nailed by Walter Walsh and John Donnelly that day," added the Tipp man.

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