Nine-time All-Ireland winner Jackie Tyrrell has blasted Cork's "naive" and "disjointed" defensive display in their heavy loss to Limerick in their Munster championship in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday.
After a dream start, with Shane Kingston burying a goal inside the first 20 seconds, Cork once again shipped a double-digit defeat to Limerick, in a game which ultimately closely resembled last year's All-Ireland final.
The wearingly familiar defeat followed a largely encouraging league campaign, in which Cork won five of seven games, reaching a first decider since 2015.
However, Sunday's crushing loss, coming on top of the defeat to Waterford a fortnight ago in Semple Stadium, has obliterated any sense that the team are making progress, according to Tyrrell.
"They did seem to be building some blocks (in the league), but by God, those blocks came tumbling down on Sunday," Tyrrell said on the RTÉ GAA podcast. "The Limerick green monster just drove straight through them.
"For Cork players, management and supporters, how do they pick up the pieces because the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again.
"They were so naive at the back. They were left so exposed in the All-Ireland final last year.
"They came back, had a really competitive league, did a lot of good things. Their defence seemed to be a bit more aggressive. I know it was the league and it wasn't Limerick's strongest team but physically they took them on (in the Gaelic Grounds) and really went at them. They hunted in packs and you said things are looking good.
"Then you go to the league final and you see that defence falling apart completely. You look at Tim O'Mahony and Mark Coleman, the questions that were raised about them.
"What did they do in two weeks? Personnel wise, they didn't do a whole lot. Daire O'Leary obviously went out - whether he was injured or not, we don't know - Damian Cahalane came in.
"I think of Cork and I think of the great people who've got the freedom of Cork city - Sonia O'Sullivan and Roy Keane. What did Gearóid Hegarty do to get the freedom of Páirc Uí Chaoimh? He just strolled around, Tim O'Mahony didn't lay a hand on him.
"I would argue the two best defensive players for Cork, that showed a bit of fight, were Shane Barrett at 11 and Ger Mellerick at 9. Tim O'Mahony isn't a defender, Mark Coleman is a wing back."
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Most of all, Tyrrell was baffled at Cork's lack of aggression, particularly in light of recent history between the two teams.
"If I was a defender and what happened to them in the All-Ireland last year happened to me, I would be seething. And Noel Hickey and JJ Delaney would be seething. We couldn't wait to get back at Limerick.
"It isn't as if they didn't know what was coming down the tracks. Fair enough if you get beat by Limerick but have a go! Get in their face, take a few yellow cards. Don't let Cian Lynch put the ball over on his knees with half a broken hurl!
"I don't know where Cork go from here now. And that's just from a defensive point of view, the lack of movement in the forwards is another ball game completely.
"This Cork team is better than they showed. But I just wonder what the culture is there from a defensive point of view. It looks like they don't really know how to play as a system, with six backs and two midfielders coming back to help. Their half-forward line don't come back to help. They're disjointed. And really, it was a shambolic Cork performance at the weekend."
"I think of Cork and I think of the great people who've got the freedom of Cork city - Sonia O'Sullivan and Roy Keane. What did Gearóid Hegarty do to get the freedom of Páirc Uí Chaoimh?"
The former Kilkenny defender did acknowledge the conundrum any team faces against Limerick, whether to go long or run the ball, given the aerial ability of the champions' defence and their enormous physicality in the middle third - and he had particular praise for one of their midfield operators.
"You're kind of damned if you do and damned if you don't. If you go long, you have Declan Hannon sitting and then, by design, Barry Nash probably won't be a million miles away. There's a screen there.
"You go short and try and run it through the lines, you have that massive half forward line that repels you or turns you over. You have William O'Donoghue that just hunts lads down. This lad, I think he's really special for what he does. And there's no one like him out there."
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