Seán Óg feeling confident
12 August 2017
Cork's Conor Lehane with Austin Gleeson of Waterford.
Seán Óg Ó hAilpín expects Cork to beat Waterford tomorrow.
"My heart, of course, will always say Cork but my head slightly tips them as well. I think they will make the final," he wrote in his Irish Sun column.
The Cork legend is looking forward to the clash in styles and structures.
"Cork won’t stray from this year’s winning formula. They will try to open it up as much as possible and will be hugging the sidelines.
"Waterford, meanwhile, will try to play a hurling version of a rugby formation. They will narrow it, bunch bodies around the half-back, middle and half-forward lines. They will try to pinch-hit up front and attack down the wings.
"Their game-plan seems to be pre-orchestrated in terms of them sending runners like Shane Bennett and Jake Dillon in from the start. And then, after 50 minutes, they bring in relief pitchers like Maurice Shanahan, who gives them a long-ball option — Maurice will stay in and around the square."
Ó hAilpín believes Cork can take advantage of Waterford sweeper Tadhg de Burca's absence through suspension.
"Cork will try to exploit this. They will aim to replicate what they did in the Munster semi-final, using Anthony Nash as the platform," he continued.
"They will look for him to prompt their attacks with his pinpoint puck-outs. The forward line will operate a couple of decoy runners from those puck-outs in the hope of freeing up space for Conor Lehane, thus allowing him to shoot on sight.
"Waterford should be well warned on that score."