Carlow manager Colm Bonnar is in no doubt that Saturday's Christy Ring opener against Antrim is a massive game for both teams.
Even though the loser of the game will not be out of the championship, Bonnar feels that it is essential to get off to a good start.
Antrim came out on top in the NHL 2A final, while the sides drew in an earlier round and so the scene is set for a tight affair again this weekend.
Speaking to the Carlow Nationalist, Bonnar stated that there will be little between the sides once again this weekend.
"It is a huge incentive and to do well, but we cannot look past Antrim," said Bonnar. "Antrim learned a lot. They put a plan in place to counteract some of our stronger players and stop them hurling.
"Having said that, the day that was in it, the conditions were a lottery for both teams. They adapted to the conditions a bit better than we did."
He added: "This will be a totally different game. Faster and there will be more hurling in it. Both sides will show what they are capable of."