After their opening day loss to Cork in Division 1 of the Allianz Hurling League, Shane McGrath still feels Limerick are a bit further on than this time last year and adds that Declan Hannon is now more than ever a pivotal presence in the All-Ireland champions' set up.
The Treaty were undone late on at Páirc Uí Chamoimh; a last-gasp Shane Kingston point saw the Rebels take the points on offer.
In 2022, Limerick won only one league game out of five, but were much more in the tune come the championship, where eventually they completed a hat-trick of All-Ireland titles.
In assessing their performance on Leeside, Shane McGrath feels John Kiely's side "definitely are ahead of where they were last year in terms of their physical conditioning and training".
The two-time All-Ireland winner with Tipperary was speaking on the latest edition of the RTÉ GAA Podcast, and added: "Compared to Wexford [opening league game] last year, I thought the Limerick lads were a little bit more sluggish than they were against Cork.
"It was a fast-paced game. I could name 10 lads who'd be on the Limerick championship 15 who didn't feature, such is the depth of talent they have."
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McGrath then went on the single out Declan Hannon's contribution to the Limerick cause. In heaping praise on the player who mans the '40, McGrath said: "Declan Hannon is getting better and better. If you could make a video of how to jab-lift a ball well within a group with a short grip, it's Declan Hannon. He's just so good at the simple things.
"For non-hurling people who aren't looking at the smaller things and are just looking at who's getting the goals and the points, Declan Hannon is pivotal; he is that quarter-back.
"It's the simple things he does, he looks up every time. I've rarely ever seen him get hooked or blocked down; he's just so good at finding that yard of space."
As for Cork, McGrath believes their centre-back Ciarán Joyce, who was recently called into the squad, is a player that can have a long, successful tenure with the Rebels. Joyce and others certainly stood up in the second period against Limerick, battling back from a half-time deficit of eight points. That turnaround was based on a greater work ethic, says McGrath.
"In the first half they stood off the Limerick lads; their tackles went from 23 up to 41 in the second half. There is no secret to the success; they just worked hard, and because they worked harder they created more space for the lads inside."
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