Saturday: Cork v Clare, Pairc Ui Rinn, 7.0.
Monday (2.0): Kilkenny v Waterford, Nowlan Park; Galway v Tipperary, Pearse Stadium.
Two successive defeats in the League is very unusual for Kilkenny who now find themselves in urgent need of a win to put themselves back in contention for a semi-final place when they play Waterford in Nowlan Park in Round 3 on Bank Holiday Monday. Defeats by Galway and Tipperary leave Kilkenny at the bottom of the table on their own, two points behind Clare, Galway and Tipperary and three behind Waterford and Cork.
Kilkenny have conceded five goals in their two games, the highest of the six teams in the group. Waterford have made an impressive start, beating Clare and drawing with Cork but will be acutely aware that taking on Kilkenny in Nowlan Park is always a tough assignment, let alone when Brian Cody’s men are under intense pressure to hoist themselves back into contention for a knock-out place.
Cork top the group on scoring difference after a win over Tipperary and a draw with Tipperary and with home advantage against Clare on Saturday night, they will be confident of maintaining their place at the head of the table. Clare gave themselves a high boost with a win over Galway on Sunday.
Tipperary also boosted themselves with a one-point win over Kilkenny, a success which will raise their confidence as they prepare to take on Galway in Pearse Stadium on Monday.
RESULTS & FIXTURES
February 23: Round 1: Cork 0-23 Tipperary 1-11; February 24: Galway 3-11 Kilkenny 0-17: Waterford 2-15 Clare 1-17.
March 10: Round 2: Tipperary 2-17 Kilkenny1-19; Waterford 0-15 Cork 1-12; Clare 0-18 Galway 1-13.
March 16: Round 3: Cork v Clare; March 18: Kilkenny v Waterford; Galway v Tipperary.
March 24: Round 4: Clare v Kilkenny; Galway v Cork; Waterford v Tipperary
March 31: Round 5: Tipperary v Clare; Kilkenny v Cork; Galway v Waterford.
April 14: Relegation play-off: 5th v 6th.
April 21: Semi-finals: 1 v Winners 1B; 2 v 3.
May 5: Final