Waterford manager Liam Cahill says their trip to UPMC Nowlan Park served its purpose, despite them ending up on the losing side.

The Déise led early on but a Cillian Buckley goal switched the momentum in this south-east derby and Kilkenny didn't look back for the remaining 45 minutes, or so.

It was a result that suited both counties, with Waterford set to face another neighbour in the semi-final next weekend - Wexford - while the win for the Cats sees them top 1B and set up a meeting with Cork in the last four.

Speaking on RTÉ's Sunday Sport, Cahill said that he was happy to be able to give more players game time.

"We have a group of players working extremely hard behind the scenes," the Tipperary native began.

"They put their hand up to be given an opportunity. That's what they train for, to play in big matches like this one today in Nowlan Park.

"I don't like to pick out individuals but young wing-back Conor Dalton came through the game well, a great experience for him. Cian Wadding another, a fella just up from the U20s.

"Cormac Daly was another getting great exposure for someone so young. It has definitely strengthened our panel for sure."

Cahill speaking to Brian Cody after the game

With the return of the provincial round group stages once more this summer, Waterford face a massive task to reach the All-Ireland series.

In the two previous years that the format was used the Déise finished bottom of the Munster table, picking up just one draw in 8 games.

Since then however, and particularly under Cahill, the Suirsiders have come on leaps and bounds, reaching the 2020 All-Ireland final, before reaching the semi-final last year.

"You're always disappointed when you don't win, and we always knew that coming to Nowlan Park was going to be a tough assignment," Cahill added.

"There were a lot of questions asked of us today and some of them we answered. But some of them we didn't so there's great learnings, and it's a good match to get a couple of weeks out from championship.

"I was a bit concerned that in the last 10 or 15 minutes of the first half we seemed to go away in all the key areas, which is very disappointing and it's something we're going to have to look at.

"Wexford are absolutely flying at the moment and it's a great opportunity for us to put a structure on our team, and get a quality match into our legs before the first round of the championship."