It wasn't so much the shadow-boxing most expected, more fumbling around in the dark for a large, sticky patch of Sunday's League final.
Though Dan Shanahan was almost insulted at the suggestion - and there were plenty of them beforehand - that his Waterford team and Clare would serve up the hurling equivalent of tag rugby in Sunday's League final for fear of exposing themselves too nakedly ahead of what will be a dinger of a Munster SHC clash in five weeks' time.
"I don't get the idea that people think we're shadow-boxing for four or five weeks' time. It's ridiculous talk," Shanahan stressed.
"It's absolute BS."
"That's being honest with you. You want to win a trophy. There's a new trophy up there and everyone wants to win it.
"We're no different than Clare. They haven't won it since 1978; we want to create history and be the first Waterford team to win it two years in a row.
"You saw the passion out there from both sets of benches, both sets of players - when you have that, it's ridiculous talk. It's going to ramp up next week more than the fifth of June.
"I think it will ramp up next week. Two teams who want to hurl; it might be a better game next week. Hopefully we'll get the result.
Shanahan admitted Waterford's free-taking was "a big concern."
Between them, Shane Bennett, Austin Gleeson and Patrick Curran missed nine placed-balls, though the introductions of both Maurice Shanahan and Pauric Mahony should go some way to soothing those concerns.
"We're disappointed that we missed so many wides but a lot of them came from play as well to be honest.
"Maybe we should have carried the ball a bit more rather than shooting from out the field, which we've instructed the boys to do and which they didn't do today.
"Which they' will do next week.
"We're still in the hunt for a trophy. Recovery now is vital.
"A lot of lads are going in there limping on both teams. They're amateur players and the way they played out there was unbelievable."
"The entertainment they put up out there was phenomenal.
"The players don't ask for much. Whatever it is at the end of the year, it's something they deserve ."