The 16-point margin between Limerick and Cork in last year's All-Ireland hurling final was described by many, even within both concerned counties, to be a little wide of the real gap between the sides.

While John Kiely’s men dominated their neighbours in Croke Park and scored at will, a narrative developed that Cork’s defensive meltdown contributed significantly to distort the gap between the teams.

Eight months after that sobering 16-point loss, the Rebels had the opportunity to lay down a marker of their own at home to the Treaty men in the first round of the Munster championship.

Kyle Hayes celebrates his solo goal against Cork

History didn’t quite repeat itself – Cork succumbed by 11 points today – but there was a strong similarity to the Croke Park encounter; Shane Kingston goaling early only for Limerick to work their way into the game, pounce on defensive errors and coast in with the game put to bed well before the full-time whistle.

Despite pre-match optimism – Dónal Óg Cusack predicted a home win – the former Rebel shotstopper says the manner of the loss is every bit as concerning as the margin.

"It’s a huge gap (between the teams) he said post-match on The Sunday Game Live. "Probably the most worrying thing for themselves is that a lot of the same issues that were there in Croke Park that day, appear to be still there.

"The centre of the defence...Cork have a huge issue there.

"I know Gearóid Hegarty was outstanding today, but the amount of time he had on the ball, he could nearly polish the ball before he left it into the rest of the team.

"In attack, we just didn’t have enough movement. Cork were trying to work the ball out. One of the reasons they were getting into so much trouble in that middle third was the movement of the Cork forward line was so limited.

"While it wasn’t the same beating Cork got last year, there was a difference of a few points, it’s not far off it to be honest."

Cork will sit out round two before regrouping against Waterford, with the Deise provising the opposition for Limerick next Saturday at the Gaelic Grounds.