Kilkenny manager Brian Cody has been very impressed with the performance of Jimmy Barry-Murphy's Cork in this year's Allianz Hurling League.
Kilkenny take on the Munster outfit in this year's Division 1A decider at Semple Stadium on Sunday, with the Rebel County the only side to have beaten the Cats in the league campaign so far.
"Cork are young and hungry," Cody said.
"They have been very impressive in their matches.
"They were better than us when we clashed in Cork. They looked very, very impressive against Tipperary in the semi-final too. They have to be happy with the campaign up to this. Certainly, like ourselves, they will be absolutely committed to trying to win the match on Sunday."
He added: "It is great to be involved in this level of competition so close to the championship, which is just down the road. To have a League final as preparation, you simply couldn't ask for better. This is what the players want, big games as often as possible."
Kilkenny play their eighth league final in 11 years on Sunday, and Cody insists that he views the tournament as far more than a warm-up for the championship.
"At the start of the League we made no secret of the fact that we would like to win the league," he said.
"Obviously you couldn't win it without getting to the final. We are there now. It is between ourselves and Cork. It has been a few years since we met in a really big game like this, so it is nice to be looking forward to the final.
"We got to the final and all our performances were decent. In some matches we were very good. In others we weren't that good but overall we got a good chance to test the panel. The league experience has been positive as far as we are concerned.
"It is a final and both counties are going to be giving 100 percent to win. After that, whatever happens, we will go on and tackle the championship. This is one 70 minutes, one game with a national title at stake. We want to win it."