Kilkenny were relatively comfortable in their most recent outing as they got the better of Galway in a flat Leinster final.
See also: Galway v Kilkenny, Leinster senior hurling championship final
While the majority of Kilkenny supporters were rightfully joyous as they celebrated a third consecutive provincial crown is as many years, there was an element of doubt and in some quarters dread, as Clare and Limerick played out a thrilling Munster decider the next day.
The 2020 and 2021 seasons were somewhat soured with All-Ireland semi-final defeats to Waterford and Cork respectively following Leinster championship success, and given the distinct possibility that Clare could provide the opposition in the last four this time around, former Kilkenny hurler Edddie Brennan believes that Kilkenny could be in the midst of repeating the same cycle of recent years.
The Graigue Ballycallan clubman also commented on the Cats’ inability to make the most of their possession and explained that they must be willing to adapt if they are to end their seven-year wait for an All-Ireland title when he spoke to Scoreline.
He began: “We’re not at the level of the Munster finalists and we have a lot of work to do. We’ve won a Leinster final and that’s always pleasing but ultimately the next game will be a huge challenge.
“We haven’t figured out Wexford yet and Clare will be very difficult. Kilkenny were well organised against Galway but they didn’t provide a stiff challenge like you’d expect Clare to provide in particular.
“We have come up short in All-Ireland semi-finals over the last two years. We can’t stay doing the same things and falling short at the same hurdles and say that we are progressing. We have to get to the All-Ireland final and we have to be able to win it.”
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See also: ‘I’ve never in my life been concerned with having a settled starting fifteen’ – Kilkenny manager Brian Cody
Brennan continued: “The management need to look at the reasons why we’re not winning the All-Ireland. It’s my view, and this is not criticism, that we are not playing to our strengths enough.
“We have quality forwards and we need to be able to put the ball into our players hands. When we start bombing ball straight down the middle like we did against Galway in Salthill and against Wexford in UPMC Nowlan Park, we come unstuck.
“You have to bring fight and intensity which Brian Cody teams will always do. However, we need to be more efficient and use the ball better.
“I think there’s an onus on the players too. They need to ask themselves why they have lost over the last two years in the All-Ireland semi-final.”
You can listen back to the full interview below on Scoreline Extra :