Jackie Tyrrell on mentally soft Limerick; Liverpool don’t deserve anything yet

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

A giant replica of the Uefa Champions League trophy is displayed outside the Royal Palace in Madrid. Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters

A giant replica of the Uefa Champions League trophy is displayed outside the Royal Palace in Madrid. Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters

The hurling championship swings back into focus this weekend with some tasty round-robin clashes and none more so than Limerick’s trip to Walsh Park to face Waterford. The All-Ireland champions haven’t had it quite their own way at all since winning the league final nine weeks ago and on Sunday they face the same opponents from that day with both sides desperate for a win. This morning Jackie Tyrrell pulls no punches in his assessment of Limerick who he says have been mentally soft in the fickle world of hurling where distractions can get to everyone. “Everyone kept telling them they were the best team in the country, that they had handled being All-Ireland champions perfectly, that they had the deepest panel and the fiercest competition for places. What could possibly go wrong?” he writes. Moving on to football and, while Mayo have made it difficult for themselves by losing to Roscommon last week, the experience of the likes of Andy Moran will prove invaluable. The 35-year-old veteran knows all too well how to come through the qualifiers and reach the All-Ireland final. “We’ve been written off many times before. They could be right, they could be wrong but all we can do is go back training. We got back on Wednesday night and had a really good session,” he says.

On to football and we’re getting ever closer now to the final showdown of the season when Liverpool meet Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League final on Saturday night. Speaking yesterday, Liverpool defender Andy Robertson was quick to point out that, despite a stellar season which included a 97 point league campaign, his side don’t deserve anything just yet. “A lot of people would say 97 points deserves the Premier League but it didn’t because Manchester City got 98. They were that little bit better than us in the end,” the full-back said. Meanwhile, a year after being part of Liverpool’s extended official party for the Champions League final in Kiev, Conor Masterson will watch Saturday’s game against Spurs in Toulon, this time focusing on his exploits with the Ireland under-21s. The 20-year-old defender was told a few weeks back that he would be released when his contract expired in the summer and he hopes now that a few good performances in France can earn him a move, as Emmet Malone writes. You can follow all of the action from Madrid on our liveblog tomorrow night which will start from 7pm while you can read Ken Early’s dispatches from Madrid tomorrow morning, after the game and on Monday.

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