Anthony Daly feels Limerick's indiscipline in the opening four rounds of the National Hurling League is creating a commotion which could hinder their bid to win a third consecutive All-Ireland title.
In their draw with Clare on Sunday, Aaron Gillane became the third Limerick player to be shown a red card during the league. Gillane was shown a second yellow card for taking a swipe with his hurley at Clare fullback Conor Cleary. Gearóid Hegarty and Seamus Flanagan had previously been sent off against Galway and Cork, respectively.
"They're a tough, aggressive forward line," Daly told the RTÉ GAA podcast.
"It has really stood to them. Obviously, they're going for the fourth All-Ireland in five years. They are hardy boys. They're nearly like old fashioned backs. There is that tendency to say, 'I'm standing up for myself here'.
"When the spotlight is on you that much, like it is on Limerick - 'How's Kinnerk doing it? What are they doing? What is the game plan? Is it just that they have the best players?' Everyone is trying to come up with an angle to stop you. They are being shared around. I don't mean there's one manager ringing another manager. They are aping what they've seen in previous games.
"I think it's very unhelpful in their bid to do three in a row. I just think it's noise that they don't need. It's gone on. We all said after Gearóid Hegarty's one, that it would probably be the best thing that ever happened. It'll just wise them all up to this. Seamie [Flanangan] gets one, and Aaron [Gillane] gets one yesterday.
"I thought it was full deserved. He probably was being held. Again, a bit like the dunt, you don't respond to the dunt with the swipe of a hurley."
Daly also believes that Waterford, who defeated Tipperary by 10 points on Sunday without Austin Gleeson, Dessie Hutchinson, Jamie Barron, Calum Lyons, and Pauric Mahony, now have the best matchday 20 going into the hurling championship.
'Waterford have the best 20, ahead of Limerick'
"Stephen Bennett is just on fire at the moment," said Daly.
"He's nearly unmarkable. Even yesterday, Jack Prendergast's display - talk about growing into it. The two Dalys (Iarlaith and Carthach). Tadhg [de Burca] back at centre-back.
"You're saying, 'There's my centre-back back, and I have probably one of the best fullbacks (Conor Prunty) in the country'. They are going to have five subs to bring on that no-one has to bring on - that's the bottom line. They are going to have the best [matchday] 20, ahead of Limerick.
"They haven't won the All-Ireland since '59. Can you get over that? They definitely have the squad to do it."
Featured images: 13 October 2019; Commentator Anthony Daly prior to the Clare County Senior Club Hurling Championship Final match between Cratloe and Sixmilebridge at Cusack Park in Ennis, Clare. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile and 12 February 2022; Gearoid Hegarty of Limerick is shown a red card by referee Fergal Horgan during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A match between Limerick and Galway at TUS Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile