In advance of this year's Allianz Hurling League, much was written about Waterford and whether they would tweak their gameplan to build on the progress they made in 2015.

The reigning Division 1A league champions began the defence of their title with a battling 0-14 to 0-10 win over Kilkenny at Walsh Park - and while the nature of that victory may have mirrored the approach from last season, Déise half-back Austin Gleeson feels the side should not solely be characterised in terms of a sound defensive system.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Gleeson said: "It's not a defensive system. We would like to think of it as pure work rate of one to 15 or one to 20, just pure hounding and hounding."

In that regard, the Mount Sion clubman heaped praise on the Waterford attack in how they performed against the Cats.

"We had 32 shots at the posts and that attacking intent would win you most games"

"I thought our work rate in the forward line was phenomenal. Not one ball came out easy and the Kilkenny backs were really under pressure. Overall, I thought we worked like demons.

A downside for Derek McGrath's side was the 18 wides they hit in their league opener. Yet, Gleeson was keen to turn that stat into a positive, despite he himself being off target six times.

"We had 32 shots at the posts and that attacking intent would win you most games," he added.

"Thirty-two shots shows we're heading in the right place."

RTÉ analyst Tom Dempsey was full of praise for Gleeson's contribution at Walsh Park where the 20-year-old was named man of the match and thinks the Munster county can kick on from last year.

"I thought Austin Gleeson was excellent. He had a great game and he was well deserving of his man-of-the-match award.

"Waterford seemed to have matured from last year. They certainly haven't suffered from the one-year syndrome. The win over Kilkenny was a big deal for all concerned because they wanted to put it on the board that they are not here just to make up numbers and just be happy with with last year's league win.

"They are still sticking with the sweeper system and it will be interesting to see whether Derek will tweak that. I think Waterford can push ahead now with great hope for the future. They are a young team and really are contenders."