Henry Shefflin and Anthony Daly believe that Limerick play on the right side of the edge in terms of discipline, but argue a number of factors played into the concession of a high number of frees in their draw against Tipperary on Saturday evening.

Seeking a third league title on the trot, the reigning All-Ireland champions fought back to earn a draw against the Premier County in the opening round of the Allianz Hurling League at the Gaelic Grounds, with Jason Forde scoring 11 frees for the visitors.

Limerick's physical size has been the cornerstone of their success, but given the scrutiny over their game-plan in recent seasons, are match officials taking a harder line on their approach to tackling?

"I’d be very disappointed, to be honest with you, if referees have been told, by the association, to clamp down on Limerick," Daly said after the match.

When it was put to him that the clamping down was on what constitutes a foul, Daly added: "I’d expect that to be highlighted then, what’s a foul, what’s not a foul.

"I thought Tipp were sharper in their thinking. They were getting their quicker, and that led to a few extra frees. I didn’t notice it being that lopsided, but if you count them up, I suppose it is."

Fellow pundit Henry Shefflin felt part of the problem was Colm Lyons’ approach to the game, perhaps influenced by the fact a number of new rules were being tried out for the first time, describing the match official’s performance as "whistle happy".

That's not to say Limerick are over-physical. I think don’t think so

"It probably got worse as the game went on. Limerick are a big, physical team, the top team. Everyone speaks about them a lot," he said.

"Are referees watching them a little bit closer now? That’s not to say they are over-physical. I think don’t think so.

"To be fair to Colm Lyons, it is his first day out. He’s probably trying to get up to the pace of it.

"At the start of the league, when there is so much talk about rules, I think referees go too hard on everything. They are being too strict, and that lead to more frees being given away,

"I would counter that that Tipp worked very hard, won a lot of ball in the turnover and have smaller players in stature. Dan McCormack and these lads were dipping their shoulder in and winning frees on the back of it. Those things led to it (free count)."