SATURDAY 18 FEBRUARY

Allianz HL Division 1A 
1900 Cork v Dublin, Páirc Uí Rínn

There's a real air of positivity around Cork hurling again and even though it's early in the year, there is a sense that the Rebels can kick on and have a decent year. Daniel Kearney, debutant Mark Coleman Alan Cadogan and Shane Kingston were all to the fore in the opening day win overt Clare.     

On the flip side, there is an air of foreboding among Dublin supporters. Manager Ger Cunningham gave youth its chance against Tipperary last Saturday and, while his charges were competitive early on, they were a well beaten docket come the final whistle. 

Former Dubs manager Humphrey Kelleher told The Irish Sun that the policy of current boss Ger Cunningham to introduce young players at this time could set hurling in the capital back "a few years", adding that such players "are not physically up to the top level yet".

There is much pressure then on Cunningham, but he should be able to have his charges well revved up to face his native county. 

Allianz HL Division 1B 
1900 Laois v Offaly, O'Moore Park

Offaly manager Kevin Ryan

Laois led Kerry for 63 minutes last Sunday, but were undone by late goals. Offaly were well and truly taken to the cleaners by Galway in their opening game, conceding 6-23 as they went down by 26 points.

That reverse prompted further debate about the state of hurling on the Faithful County, with manager Kevin Ryan referencing the difficulty he has in getting 30 players for a game.

Laois' chances of avoiding the play-off may have been dented by the loss to Kingdom but they can make some amends here.   

Allianz HL Division 3B 
1430 Fermanagh v Warwickshire, Brewster Park,

Sigerson Cup final 
UCD/UL v St Mary's/UCC, Connacht GAA Cente

All-Ireland club JHC final 
1500 Mayfield (Cork) v Mooncoin (Kilkenny), Croke Park

All-Ireland club IHC final 
1645 Ahascragh-Fohenagh (Galway) v Carrickshock (Kilkenny), Croke Park 

SUNDAY 19 FEBRUARY

Allianz HL Division 1A 
1400 Clare v Kilkenny, Cusack Park 
1400 Waterford v Tipperary, Walsh Park

Both Clare and Kilkenny suffered defeats at the hands of Cork and Waterford respectively in the opening round, so you can expect a bit of bite in Ennis in the pursuit of points. 

The Banner will take some consolation in that they created more than a few goal chances against Cork and who knows how the game would have went had Tony Kelly converted a penalty just after half-time. That said, their return of 1-11 at Páirc Uí Rinn won't win too many games.

Kilkenny were kept at arms length by the Déise at Nowlan Park, their strong finish not enough to plunder the points. Conor O'Shea, Ollie Walsh, Pat Lyng and Sean Morrissey all made their debuts for the Cats.

Assessing the Black and Amber a this early stage of the season, RTÉ analyst Liam Sheedy feels too much is expected of TJ Reid.

"They are over reliant on TJ. We go back to Kilkenny when they were in their prime.

“You had Henry Shefflin, you had Eddie Brennan, you had Eoin Larkin, you had Richie Power and if one of those guys had an off-day, then somebody else just picked it up and took it on.

“You always felt there was someone there to back it up.

“If TJ Reid was to go out of that team...they really do need leaders to stand up.

"Maybe it’s Michael and Colin Fennelly coming back in and give them the impetus."

Last year's Munster final saw Tipperary give Waterford a bit of a hiding. It should be a lot closer at Walsh Park on Sunday as both sides look to build on last week's victories.

The Déise recorded a first win over Kilkenny at Nowlan Park, while the All-Ireland champions had it all too easy when accounting for  the Dubs at Croke Park.

Waterford boss Derek McGrath believes that Tipp "are at a different level to everyone else at the moment" and nearly goes as far a saying that it's an honour for his charges to be playing the All-Ireland champions at this time.  

It may be a bit early in the season for what many would say is only Plámás, but crucially not early enough for these pair to produce a game of high quality.    

Allianz HL Division 1B 
1400 Galway v Wexford, Pearse Stadium 
1400 Limerick v Kerry, Gaelic Grounds

The outcome of Galway v Wexford calsh in Salthill could very well decide who'll be playing in Division 1A in 2018.

The Tribesmen ran riot against a disjointed Offaly outfit in round one, with Jason Flynn contributing 2-10 of their 6-23 total.

The Davy Fitz effect is reaping much dividends in Wexford after his side battled back to reel in Limerick on Sunday last.

He is, however, expecting a tough assignment by the seaside.

"The game might just come a small bit early," he told RTÉ.

"They knocked in six goals and 23 points against Offaly. They’re a phenomenal outfit, they are very well coached.

“It’s a big one for us, but what we’ve got to try and do is go up and compete. I don’t think many people will give us a chance of victory up there but certainly we’ll go up, compete and let’s see how we get on.

After their loss to Wexford, Limerick will need to win their remaining games if they are to have any chance of topping the section. 

They should have enough to get the points on offer against Kerry.

The Kingdom after staging a comeback to deny Laois should head to the Ennis Road in good spirits. 

Allianz HL Division 2A 
1300 Armagh v London, Athletic Grounds 
1400 Carlow v Antrim, Netwatch Cullen Park 
1400 Kildare v Westmeath, Newbridge

Allianz HL Division 2B 
1230 Down v Roscommon, Ballycran 
1400 Meath v Derry, Páirc Tailteann 
1400 Wicklow v Mayo, Aughrim

Allianz HL Division 3A  
1400 Monaghan v Donegal, Castleblayney 
1400 Louth v Tyrone, Darver

Allianz HL Division 3B 
1400 Leitrim v Longford, Páirc Sean MacDiarmada

All-Ireland club JFC final 
1400 Glenbeigh-Glencar (Kerry) v Rock (Tyrone), Croke Park 

All-Ireland club IFC final 
1545 Westport (Mayo) v St Colmcilles (Meath), Croke Park

ONLINE 
Live blogs on RTÉ.ie from 1830 on Saturday and 1300 on Sunday.

ON RADIO 
Live coverage of Cork v Dublin and Laois v Offaly in the Allianz Hurling League on Saturday Sport Extra on Radio 1 from 1900. Sunday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1 from 1400 will have reporters at the day's main games.  

ON TV 
Saturday 
Sigerson Cup final live on TG4 from 1445 
Cork v Dublin and Laois v Offaly live on eir Sport from 1900

Sunday 
Waterford v Tipperary live on TG4 from 1330 
Clare v Kilkenny deferred coverage on TG4 from 1545 

All live and deferred games available worldwide via GAAGO.

Highlights of all the weekend's action on Allianz League Sunday on RTÉ Two television from 2130. 

WEATHER
Generally dry on Saturday across Ireland with sunny spells developing from the west - just isolated light showers. Rather mild, with highest temperatures of 10 to 13 degrees in moderate westerly breezes. Turning chilly Saturday night with temperatures falling to between 3 and 6 degrees. Dry and fair for much of Sunday in moderate southwest breezes. The best of any sunshine is likely early on, however patchy rain and drizzle will gradually move into Atlantic counties, turning persistent along the coastline here. Again relatively mild, with highest temperatures of 10 to 12 degrees.