Shefflin: Kilkenny can cut supply to Horgan and O'Connor

August 05, 2021

Cork's Jack O'Connor races towards goal against Dublin in the All-Ireland SHC quarter-final at Semple Stadium ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

Henry Shefflin reckons Kilkenny will cut off Cork’s supply lines to their key inside forwards this weekend.

The Cats and the Rebels clash at Croke Park on Sunday (throw-in 3.30pm) for a place in the All-Ireland senior hurling championship final, with Limerick and Waterford meeting on Saturday (throw-in 5pm).

Speaking on the RTE GAA podcast, Kilkenny great Shefflin reckons Patrick Horgan and Jack O'Connor's ability to win 50-50 balls inside against a stingy Cats’ defence will tell the tale on Sunday.

"Kieran Kingston and Diarmuid O’Sullivan have done a great job. They’ve got that bit of steel and resilience that wasn’t there in 2018 and 2019. They have definitely improved,” said the 10-time All-Ireland winner.

"Watching (Jack) O’Connor on Saturday night, he’s electrifying. He’ll bring something different and new, and then you’ve the experience of (Patrick) Horgan, who is coming back into form.

"The big thing for me is, when Cork are training they’re playing with two inside, they want to give nice ball, the defenders are marking O’Connor and Horgan and they’re spinning out to the wings.

"When they come up against Kilkenny and TJ (Reid) is coming after you - or Billy Ryan or Adrian Mullen - the delivery into your forwards is going to be under a lot more pressure.

"That’s going to be the big question - can O’Connor and Horgan win that 50-50 ball. Knowing Kilkenny and what’s taking place in their training base, they’d be more used to that ball. That’ll be one of the interesting facets."

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