Diarmuid O’Sullivan: Anthony Nash can stump the stats to lead Cork to the final

Cork legend Diarmuid O’Sullivan believes the Rebels are ready to rock Croke Park ahead of this weekend’s All-Ireland semi-final clash against Limerick…


It’s a massive occasion to have that Munster rivalry in an All-Ireland semi-final.

Cork have three wins and two draws so it’s great to have that momentum and the idea of not losing behind you. It will give them a great platform to start Sunday’s game with.

Limerick were already beaten once this year, so they have a small blot on the copy book. But, you’d hope that come Sunday that Cork will be the one’s looking forward to another All-Ireland final.

They competed in a really good round robin series and won a really, really good Munster title.

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Time to lay Croker ghosts to rest

We’ve won twice in the past 13 times we’ve played at Croke Park.

That’s a poor record and it needs to change for the betterment of Cork Hurling, for the fans and obviously, the players themselves.

When I was involved last year and there were questions put to us after the Waterford defeat – did we do the right thing in leaving the young lads on?

They struggled for long periods, but for me we absolutely did the right thing. We knew that this group of players had the ability to get back up on the horse and contest for All-Irelands.

Sunday is another opportunity and you can’t look at what’s gone behind you. They can just take a positive step forward and go for it.

Nash the key to unlocking Limerick

Anthony Nash is central to what Cork do as a team.

He’ll have the ball in his hand roughly between 45 and 60 times in a game. So, that’s giving you a platform to play off of.

It’s giving you an opportunity to get the ball to your guy and to give it to the guy in the best position too.

There are another 14 guys outside him on the team though. If you turn your arse to him it’s saying, ‘I don’t really want the ball’, then it all falls apart.

You have to be brave enough and get yourself into a position where you can get the ball.

Limerick did well on his puckouts in the drawn game, so I presume Cork have been working away trying to change different patterns and different styles of play over the last number of weeks.

If for no other reason than to throw Limerick’s statistician Sean O’Donnell off the scent, because he’s excellent at his job.

I don’t think you could find a better guy in the game of hurling to provide you with the kind of detailed information he does. Sean will be alive to what Cork are trying to do and Anthony will know that.

Nash is the type of guy that won’t like someone to get the better of him, so he’ll have been working diligently over the last number of weeks to get this thing right.

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