Shane McGrath believes that Stephen Bennett is in the conversation for Hurler of the Year after helping Waterford into the All-Ireland final.

Bennett scored 1-10 for the Déise as they staged a stirring comeback to beat Kilkenny in Saturday's semi-final.

Former Tipperary hurler McGrath told RTÉ's Game On that Bennett had elevated himself into the ranks of contenders for the game's greatest individual prize.

"He's been unbelievable. He's definitely entered the equation for Hurler of the Year," he said.

"Another exhibition the other day. I think the points he got were lost in the whole excitement of the game and second-half performance which was probably the best second-half performance by a Waterford team ever - maybe the best second-half performance by any team in a semi-final. But Stephen Bennett was exceptional."

McGrath added: "As a team and as a panel, I think Waterford are in a really good place."

While former Waterford star Dan Shanahan was worried at half-time as his county trailed, he felt their fitness work paid dividends in the turnaround if they could get an early goal in the second period.

"The second-half performance from Waterford last Saturday was unbelievable," he said on Game On.

"It's amazing when an outside manager comes in, the stuff he can do and lay down the law. I think the lads have bought into it big time.

"You see the rewards. They're fighting for every ball and that's coming from the manager. When he comes in, he makes a statement, he does this, he does that but I think you have to give the management credit the way the lads are working.

"The fitness levels have been phenomenal. They could have kept going again on Saturday evening. The fitness levels, I couldn't get over it. They were playing three weeks in a row and it didn't bother them."