Footystats, footy's best kept secret, Australia v Ireland, 1967-2015

Australia v Ireland
since 1967

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HARRY BEITZEL, a prominent Melbourne media personality of the day took the first group of Australian footballers to Ireland in 1967 when they were called "The Galahs" — Harry will be remembered as the publisher of Footy Week and for his many years of calling the game on both 3KZ and 3AW.

Harry was honoured with the naming of the award for the best player in the series of matches which extended into 1990 when the last HARRY BEITZEL MEDAL was won by Ireland’s JACK O’SHEA.

These are the recorded details from matches played between Australia and Ireland since 1967 —

October 29 1967 at Croke Park (crowd: 23,149)
Meath 3.16 (25) d The Galahs 1.10 (13)
November 4
Mayo 2.12 (18) d The Galahs 2.5 (11)

Saturday October 19 at New Eltham, London
London 3.5 (14) d Australians 1.10 (13)
Sunday October 20 at Killarney
Kerry 1.12 (15), Australians 2.9 (15)
Wednesday October 23 at Croke Park
Australians 3.9 (18) d Combined Universities 1.11 (14)
Sunday October 26 at Navan (crowd: 5000)
Meath 3.7 (16), Australians 2.10 (16)
Sunday October 27 at Croke Park (crowd: 18,324)
Australians 1.11 (14) d Down 2.7 (13)

Kerry visited Australian in March where they played four games — Kerry v WA in Perth (under GAA rules), Kerry v Adelaide (under GAA rules, playing with an Australian ball), Kerry v Victoria in Melbourne (under GAA rules) and Kerry v NSW (under GAA rules). Kerry on the way home also played matches in New Zealand and the United States.

Friday October 20 at Belfield, Dublin
Australians 8.10 d UCD 5.12
Sunday October 22 at Croke Park (crowd: 12,106)
Australians 2.30 d Dublin 2.11
Sunday October 29
Kerry 3.9 d Australians 0.16

Kerry after winning their fourth successive All-Ireland championship toured by playing matches in New York, San Francisco, Hawaii and also Australia. There were no official matches played here and little promotion. The VFL however did assist with functions honouring the visit and a tour of VFL Park at Waverley. Full details of the tour by Kerry can be found at — the games played in Australia were chiefly under GAA rules.

Matches under "Compromise Rules" combining features of the GAA rules and Australian Football were played. The addition of behind posts realigned the scoring with six points for an ‘under’ and three points for an ‘over’ remaining and the addition of one point for a behind —
Sunday October 21 at Park O’Keefe, Cork
First Test: Australia 2.15-13 (70) d Ireland 4.8-9 (57)
Second Test: Ireland 3.18-8 (80) d Australia 1.18-16 (76)
Third Test: Australia 1.18-16 (76) d Ireland 5.11-8 (71)
Beitzel Medal (for the series — J.Kerrigan (Ireland).

Saturday October 11 at WACA, Perth
First Test: Australia 1.14-16 (64) d Ireland 5.5-12 (57)
Sunday October 19 at VFL Park, Melbourne
Second Test: Ireland 3.10-14 (62) d Australia 1.10-10 (46)
Friday October 24 at Football Park, Adelaide
Third Test: Ireland 4.8-7 (55) d Australia 0.7-11 (32)
Beitzel Medal (for the series) — Robert Dipierdomenico (Australia).

Sunday October 18 at Croke Park, Dublin
First Test: Ireland 3.7-14 (53) d Australia 1.11-12 (51)
Sunday October 25 at Croke Park, Dublin
Second Test: Australia 3.14-12 (72) d Ireland 3.6-11 (47)
Sunday November 1 at Croke Park, Dublin
Third Test: Australia 0.14-17 (59) d Ireland 1.13-10 (55)
Beitzel Medal (for the series) — Tony McGuinness (Australia).

Sunday October 10 at Albury
Practice Match: Australia 2.9-17 (56) d Ireland 2.6-11 (41)
Friday November 2 at AFL Park, Melbourne
First Test: Ireland 0.12-11 (47) d Australia 0.10-8 (38)
Saturday November 10 at Bruce Stadium, Canberra
Second Test: Ireland 3.9-7 (52) d Australia 0.7-10 (31)
Saturday November 17 at WACA, Perth
Third Test: Australia 0.13-11 (50) d Ireland 0.12-8 (44)
Beitzel Medal (for the series) — Jack O’Shea (Ireland)


Sunday October 11 at Croke Park, Dublin (crowd: 35,221)
First Test: Australia 2.13-11 (62) d Ireland 2.14-7 (61)
Sunday October 18 at Croke Park, Dublin (crowd: 22,900)
Second Test: Ireland 4.12-7 (67) d Australia 2.01-4 (56)
Ireland won the series on aggregate.

Ireland v Australia
Sunday October 11, 1998
at Croke Park, Dublin, crowd: 22,900
IRELAND       2.14-7 — 61
AUSTRALIA       2.13-11 — 62
Goals: Australia: (six pts) Neitz, Eagleton. Overs: (three pts) Carey 4, Lloyd 3, Crawford, Everitt, Neitz, Camporeale, Farmer, Harvey.
Goals: Ireland:
(six pts) Donnellen, McCabe. Overs: (three pts) Canavan 4, B.Stynes 3, Foley 2, McCabe, Fallon, Donnellen, McManaman.
Best: Australia: Buckley, Smith, Carey, Neitz, Silvagni, Eagleton.
Ireland: McCabe, McDermott, B.Stynes, Canavan, McManaman.

Ireland v Australia
Sunday October 18, 1998
at Croke Park Dublin, crowd: 35,221
IRELAND       4.12-7 — 67
AUSTRALIA       2.10-14 — 56
Goals: Ireland: (six pts) Canavan, Fallon, Donnelan, Og de Paor. Overs: (three pts) Canavan 3, Stynes 2, Fallon 2, Tohill, Lockhart, Devenney, Kenny, Daly.
Goals: Australia: (six pts) Harvey, Camporeale. Overs: (three pts) Holland 2, Ricciuto 2, Lloyd, Buckley, Stevens, Stynes, Eagleton, Harvey.
Best: Ireland: Canavan, McDermott, Fallon, Donnellan, McConnell.
Australia: Hart, Holland, Buckley, Carey, Ricciuto, Silvagni, Wellman.

With the test aggregate of the two meetings 128-118,
Ireland won the 1998 series

Australia v Ireland
Friday(N), October 8, 1999
at the MCG, (7.40pm AEST), crowd: 64,326
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
IRE       2.16.10 — 70
AUST       0.16.14 — 62
Scores: Ireland: Goals (6 points): Whelan, Fallon. Overs (3 points): Canavan 3, Fallon 3, Kavanagh 3, Buckley, Dolan, Earley, Tohill. Behinds (1 point): Fallon 3, Canavan 2, Dolan, Earley, Giles, Giles, Stynes, Whelan. Australia: Goals: Nil. Overs: Buckley 5, Bell 2, Campbell 2, McRae 2, Waterhouse 2, Leppitsch, Smith, West. Behinds: Buckley 4, Croad 2, Burgoyne, Cousins, Crawford, Leppitsch, McRae, O'Loughlin, Waterhouse.
Best: Ireland: Giles, Moynihan, O'Keefe, Fallon, McDermott, Kavanagh. Australia: Buckley, Silvagni, Cousins, Waterhouse, Akermanis, Croad.
Umpires: Andrew Coates (Australia), Michael Curley (Ireland).
Crowd: 64,326 at the MCG.

Australia v Ireland
Friday(N), October 15, 1999
at Football Park, (7.40pm AEST), crowd: 45,187
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
AUST 1.4-1 – 19 2.6-3 – 30 2.8-4 – 40 2.12-4 – 52
IRE 1.1.4 – 13 1.4-8 – 26 1.7.11 – 38 1.11.13 – 52
Scores: Australia:  Goals: (6 points) Australia: O'Loughlin, Crawford. Overs (3 points): Buckley 5, Smith 2, Ashcroft, Campbell, Graham, Richardson, Waterhouse. Ireland: Goals: McDermott. Overs: Buckley 2, Fallon 2, Tohill 2, Geraghty, Giles, Kavanagh, McManus, Stynes.
Best: Australia: Nathan Buckley, Jason Akermanis, David McKay, Ben Hart, Stephen Silvagni. Ireland: Seamus Moynihan, John McDermott, Decian O'Keefe, Trevor Giles, Niall Buckley.
Umpires: Andrew Coates (Australia), Michael Curley (Ireland).



International Rules
Big crowd see Ireland win

A balmy Friday night brought a strong attendance of 64,326 to the MCG to watch Ireland take out the First Test on October 8. By far this was the strongest support shown by an Australian crowd to the concept of International Rules between the Gaelic Athletic Association and the AFL.

Ireland started well and led by 17 points to nil before the Australians registered their first score. The Irish had the run of play in the early stages and not until after half-time when with fine displays from SCOTT WEST and CLIVE WATERHOUSE brought the Aussies within striking distance of victory. Collingwood captain NATHAN BUCKLEY was outstanding for Australia across the full match.

A late goal clinched a narrow victory for the visitors —
Ireland: 2 goals 16 overs 10 behinds (70)
Australia:  0 goals 16 overs 14 behinds (62)

Scores: Ireland:
Goals (6 points): Whelan, Fallon. Overs (3 points): Canavan 3, Fallon 3, Kavanagh 3, Buckley, Dolan, Earley, Tohill. Behinds (1 point): Fallon 3, Canavan 2, Dolan, Earley, Giles, Giles, Stynes, Whelan. Australia: Goals: Nil. Overs: Buckley 5, Bell 2, Campbell 2, McRae 2, Waterhouse 2, Leppitsch, Smith, West. Behinds: Buckley 4, Croad 2, Burgoyne, Cousins, Crawford, Leppitsch, McRae, O'Loughlin, Waterhouse.
Best: Ireland: Giles, Moynihan, O'Keefe, Fallon, McDermott, Kavanagh. Australia: Buckley, Silvagni, Cousins, Waterhouse, Akermanis, Croad.
Umpires: Andrew Coates (Australia), Michael Curley (Ireland).
Crowd: 64,326 at the MCG.

The Second Test will be played at Football Park in Adelaide on Friday October 15 with Australia needing to win by more than nine points to halt the prospect Ireland will take the Cup again on aggregate.

It was interesting to view the overseas reports on the International Rules match. The Irish Times carried the following —

From Seán Moran in Melbourne
Gauging media coverage can be difficult given the extreme parochialism of the outlets. Melbourne's two biggest newspapers, The Age and The Sun-Herald both carried significant coverage on the day of the match and the day afterwards.

The Australian newspaper has the courage of its convictions to demonstrate Sydney parochialism in Melbourne (which tends to be uninterested in The Australian's favourite sport, rugby union) and its condescending attitude to the series drew a waspish aside from Australian coach Dermott Brereton at the post-match press conference on Friday.

Naturally, the paper was less than impressed by the events of the first Test. Reporter Warwick Hadfield stated that the difference between the sides would "despite the MCG crowd of 64,326 and the closeness of the contest, always mark these matches more as a fine curiosity than a genuine sporting contest.

"What the Irish did instinctively with the ball of their choice the Australians - even sometimes (Nathan) Buckley (Australia's captain and best player) - had to think about.

"In a game played at the blistering pace of this hybrid, that is an extraordinary disadvantage."

Martin Flanagan in the The Sunday Age was more intrigued.

Noting that the MCG "stadium glittered like a diamond for the occasion", he went on to say that "all the prerequisites for a memorable occasion were there - a balmy night, a pre-match cocktail of thumping fireworks and Irish music, an appreciative crowd of nearly 65,000, national flags and then, finally, the match itself."

Of the game itself, Flanagan believes it "a better showcase for Irish football than for our code. It is a breathtakingly offensive game - like watching soccer on speed."

Teams for the First Test in Melbourne were:
Decian O'Keefe (Goalkeeper), Sean Og de Paor, Darren Fay, Finbarr Cullen (Full Backs), Glen Rana, Sean Lockhart, James Nallen (Half Backs), John McDermott, Claran Wheelan (Midfielders), Trevor Giles, Bryan Stynes, Peter Canavan (Half Forwards), Joe Kavanagh, Jariath Fallon, Anthony Tohill (Forwards).
Interchange: Kiernan O'Sullivan, Michael Donnellan, Seamus Moynihan, Dermot Earley, Niall Buckley, John Quane, James Horan, Graham Geraghty, Claran McManus, Derry Foley, Dessie Dolan.
Australia: Stephen Silvagni (Goalkeeper), Shane Crawford, Trent Croad, Ben Hart (Full Backs), Andrew McKay, Justin Leppitsch, Rohan Smith (Half Backs), Matthew Allan, Nathan Buckley (Midfielders), Peter Bell, Matthew Richardson, Scott Camporeale (Half Forwards), Ben Cousins, Clive Waterhouse, Michael O'Loughlin (Forwards). Interchange: Jason Akermanis, Marcus Ashcroft, Craig McRae, Jarrod Molloy, Ben Graham, Peter Burgoyne, Wayne Campbell, Nathan Burke, Scott West.


International Rules
Australia wins the series
DUBLIN: Sunday — Australia turned in a superb performance to take out the International Rules football series against Ireland at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon.

After winning the first Test by eight points last week, the Aussies were even better in the second and last encounter, winning 68-51 before a bumper crowd of 57,289.

The win completed Australia's first series win since the hybrid game was revived in 1998 and would have sent shockwaves through Ireland fans contemplating future series, after both countries on Friday agreed in principle to extend the annual series to 2005.

The 17-point margin was also the largest of the six games played since the game's rebirth and was reward for Australia's noticeable lift in handling and kicking skills with the round Gaelic football from the first match to the second.

The Aussies were led by Sydney Swan Michael O'Loughlin, who scored 17 points, including a tremendous six-point goal, one of two the Aussies put into the net today after going goalless last week.

``It's a great feeling to get the win and it's been great to see how these boys have all come together,'' said coach Dermott Brereton.

His side had been shocked at the opening of last week's match when Ireland - possessing superior ball skills but lower levels of fitness - raced to a 12-0 lead after 14 minutes.

Today they were so vigilant against another such start from the home side that they swamped Ireland from the first bounce, breaking to a 20-6 lead at quarter time.

The match erupted into a melee at the first break when a spat between fiery Brisbane Lion Jason Akermanis and Gaelic football legend Peter Canavan sparked an all-in brawl. Both Akermanis and Canavan were sent off.

The Aussies began where they left off in the second quarter, with a three-point over to new boy Luke Power followed by a dynamic piece of play from O'Loughlin for Australia's first six-pointer goal of the series.

The Aboriginal with the Irish name had missed all but two minutes of last week's match after being concussed and clearly relished his chance today.

Fellow forward Justin Leppitsch played well to drag his marker Darren Fay under a long ball, O'Loughlin scooped it up, expertly dodged Irish goalkeeper Cormac Sullivan and slammed it into the net.

That made it 32-10 and, while Ireland replied with a goal through Eoin Gormley with eight minutes to half time, Leppitsch responded seconds later with Australia's second six-pointer, which he punched through like a Gaelic veteran.

Australia went into half time with a comfortable 28-point lead and, while the Irish scored four overs to their two in the third term, it was still 21 points the difference at the last change.

To their credit, Ireland clawed back to 14 points down eight minutes into the last 20-minute quarter, through two overs to Dermot Earley and one to Seamus Moynihan.

But Australia had enough fitness on their side to see out the win, thanks to late overs to Blake Caracella and Adam Yze, who kicked three apiece for the match.

Richmond's Andrew Kellaway played a fine game in goal for Australia, saving three shots on goal in a manner which would make compatriot Mark Bosnich proud, while Carlton veteran Craig Bradley was tireless throughout.

Australia v Ireland
Sunday, October 8, 2000
at Croke Park, Dublin (3.00pm), crowd: 38,016
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
AUST 0-2-1 — 7 0-5-4 — 19 0-9-7 — 34 0-14-13 — 55
EIRE 0-4-0 — 12 0-8-4 — 28 1-10-4 — 40 1-11-8 — 47
Scorers: Australia:   Leppitsch 17 (0-4-5), Caracella 14 (0-4-2), B Harvey 5 (0-1-2), J Hird 4 (0-1-1), J Blumfield 3 (0-1-0), R Smith 3 (0-1-0), N Brown 3 (0-1-0), T Croad (0-1-0), W Campbell 1 (0-0-1), S Woewodin 1 (0-0-1), A Yze 1 (0-0-1).

Ireland: G Geraghty 10 (1-1-1), D Earley 7 (0-2-1), B Stynes 6 (0-2-0), G Calvan 6 (0-2-0), L Reilly 5 (0-1-2), P Canavan 4 (0-1-1), C Moran 3 (0-1-0), A Rainbow 3 (0-1-0), A Tohill 1 (0-0-1), T Giles 1 (0-0-1), F Cullen 1 (0-0-1).

Best: Australia: Leppitsch, Caracella, Akermanis, Harvey, Campbell, Hird, Kellaway.
Cullen, Lockhart, Geraghty, Sullivan, Ryan.
Australia v Ireland
Sunday, October 15, 2000
at Croke Park, Dublin (3.00pm)
Crowd: 57,289 (record for a home international)
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
AUST 0.5-5 — 20 2.10.5 — 47 2.12-8 — 56 2.15.11 — 68
EIRE 0.2.2 — 2 1.4.1 — 19 1.8.5 — 35 1.12-9 — 51
Scorers: (6-point goals, 3-point overs, 1-point behinds)
AUSTRALIA: Michael O'Loughlin 1.3.2 (17), Justin Leppitsch 1.1.2 (11), Blake Caracella 0.3.0 (9), Adam Yze 0.3.0 (9), A McLeod 6, M Ricciuto 4, L Power, S West, T Croad 3 each, S King 2, J Hird 1.

IRELAND: Dermot Earley 0.4.1 (13), Eoin Gormley 1.0.1 (7), Brian Stynes 0.2.0 (6), C McManus 5, F Cullen, A Rainbow 4 each, A Tohill 3, G Geraghty, T Giles, P McGrane, L Reilly 1.

AUSTRALIA: Michael O'Loughlin (best-on-ground), Craig Bradley, Justin Leppitsch, Andrew Kellaway (goalkeeper), Blake Caracella, Damien Hardwick.

IRELAND: Dermot Earley, Seamus Moynihan, Trevor Giles, Darren Fay, Eoin Gormley, Cormac Sullivan (gk).

AUSTRALIA - Andrew Kellaway (Rch); Jason Akermanis (Bri), Damien Hardwick (Ess), Chris Heffernan (Ess); James Hird (Ess), Brad Johnson (WB), Rohan Smith (WB); Trent Croad (Haw), Scott West (WB); Shane Woewodin (Mel), Luke Power (Mel), Craig Bradley (Car); Michael O'Loughlin (Syd), Justin Leppitsch (Bri), Andrew McLeod (Ade). Inter-change players: Justin Blumfield (Ess), Brett Ratten (Car), Adem Yze (Mel), Steven King (Gee), Mark Ricciuto (Ade), Blake Caracella (Ess), David King (NMK), Simon Goodwin (Ade).

IRELAND - Cormac Sullivan (Meath); Finbar Cullen (Offaly), Darren Fay (Meath), Sean Marty Lockhart (Derry); Sean Og de Paor (Galway), Eoin Sexton (Cork), Anthony Rainbow (Kildare); Seamus Moynihan (Kerry), Anthony Tohill (Derry); Paidraig Joyce (Galway), Trevor Giles (Meath), Dermot Earley (Kildare); Larry Reilly (Cavan), Graham Geraghty (Meath), Peter Canavan (Tyrone). Inter-change players: Gerard Cavlan (Tyrone), Mark Crossan (Donegal), Eoin Gormley (Tyrone), Kieran McGeeney (Armagh), Paul McGrane (Armagh), Ciaran McManus (Offaly), Colm McManamon (Mayo), Brian Stynes (Dublin).

UMPIRES - Pat McEnaney (Monaghan), Brett Allen (Australia)

REPORTED: Jason Akermanis (Australia) and Peter Canavan (Ireland) for fighting at the end of the first quarter. Both players were sent off and took no further part in the match. The GAA and AFL will adjudicate if further penalties will result.

Australia won the series 2-0.


International Rules

Ireland defeated Australia by six points in the First Test played under International Rules at the MCG on Friday night in slippery conditions.

Dublin's Irish Examiner reported Irish team manager Brian McEniff praised his team's performance following their 59-53 victory over Australia. McEniff singled out the play of Meath's Graham Geraghty, whom he said showed great leadership on the pitch after a stunning second-half show.

Captain Anthony Tohill admitted the side was lucky in some respects, but said they had allowed Australia to get too much possession in the game and needed to improve in getting to their own forward line faster.

Ireland's win was soured however by reports that Australian umpire Brett Allen was jostled by members of the visiting team after the game for allowing Australian Stuart Maxfield to have a shot at goal after the final siren. A committee conducted a video review of the incident and on Monday, a three-man tribunal panel suspended Irish official PADDY CLARK for the Second Test and from International Rules matches of 2002 and 2003.

For the Irish, Graham Geraghty was best afield with three overs, two in the first 90 seconds of the first half, while Brendan Devenney managed four overs and backman Seamus Moynihan had plenty of the ball.

Defender and skipper Craig Bradley was easily Australia's best, with Adam Goodes the leading scorer with three overs.

Australia's deficiency in the goal square proved decisive too, with Adelaide midfielder Simon Goodwin allowing two goals that a more experienced keeper would probably have saved.

Neither team could find its range under the bar in the first half, Stuart Maxfield coming closest in the second term when his soccered shot just went wide.

Ireland trailed by as many as nine points a couple of times midway through the third quarter, but with Tohill's goal and another point immediately after, the visitors were back on level terms at the last break and pulled away from Australia in the last quarter.

October 16

Australia v Ireland
Friday (N), October 12, 2001
at the MCG, crowd: 48,121
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
IRE 0.4.2–14 0.6.4–22 1.10.5–41 2.13.8—59
AUS 0.3-1–10 0.8.4–28 1.10-5–41 1.13.8–53
GOALS (6 points) – Ireland: McGeeney, Tohill. Australia: Caracella.
OVERS (3 points) – Ireland: Devenney 4, Geraghty 3, Tohill 2, Crowley, Earley, Kennelly, McAnallen. Australia: Goodes 3, Bowden 3, Harvey 2, Lloyd 2, J Johnson, Black, Caracella.
BEST – Ireland: Geraghty, Devenney, Moynihan, Lockhart, Fay. Australia: Bradley, J Johnson, Bowden, Nicks, McLeod.
UMPIRES: Brett Allen (Australia), Pat McEnaney (Ireland).
REPORT: A notice of investigation was lodged by umpire BRETT ALLEN against an unknown official who had made contact with him. AFL investigations officer RICK LEWIS followed-up the matter on Monday and laid a formal charge. At the hearing of the three-man Control Committee comprising ANDREW DEMETRIOU and RICHARD LOVERIDGE of the AFL and GAA football operations director PAT DALY, Ireland team assistant manager PADDY CLARK was found guilty of making physical contact with umpire BRETT ALLEN at the completion of the First Test. Mr Clark was suspended from taking part in the Second Test and for the next two International Rules Series covering 2002 and 2003.

International Rules

Ireland comprehensively thrashed Australia in the Second Test of the International Rules Series played in good conditions on Friday night at Football Park.

The 71 points to 52 victory gained a 2-0 clean sweep of the series for Ireland – the third time in four years the Emerald Isle have been winners.

Sydney's TADGH KENNELLY, playing for Ireland was the player of the match with five overs, while defender SEAN LOCKHART and goalkeeper CORMAC SULLIVAN were impassable in the last line of defence.

For Australia, BRENT HARVEY was in everything in the middle of the ground, STUART MAXFIELD had plenty of the ball but was plagued by poor disposal and ADAM GOODES, MATTHEW LAPPIN and MATTHEW LLOYD played well up forward.

Ireland played smart, skilful football, again turning around a half-time deficit to pull clear in the third term, before dominating the home side in the final quarter.

BLAKE CARACELLA received the yellow card and was sent off for 15 minutes during the last quarter following a head-high tackle on SEAN LOCKHART. For the second consecutive week the match ended in controversy with several scuffles and an all-in melee erupted in the final term when players cleared the interchange benches to join the fray. The incident is certain to come under video review on Monday.

On Thursday, the Gaelic Athletic Association and the AFL agreed to continue the annual exchange visits of the International Rules Series until the end of 2005.

In reaching the new agreement with the GAA, AFL chief executive WAYNE JACKSON said all of the AFL's weight, expertise and resources would be put into developing the hybrid game.

October 20

Australia v Ireland
Friday (N), October 19, 2001
at Football Park, crowd: 31,713
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
IRE 1.3.1–16 2.6.2—32 2.13.5—56 2.17-8—71
AUS 0.4.3—15 1.8-3—33 1.11.5—44 1.13-7—52
GOALS (6 points) – Ireland: Graham Geraghty, Anthony Tohill. Australia: Matthew Lloyd.
OVERS (3 points) – Ireland: Tadgh Kennelly 5, Padraig Joyce 3, Brendan Devenney 2, Johnny Crowley 2, Brendan O'Sullivan 2, Michael Donnellan, Dermott Earley, Graham Geraghty Australia: Matthew Lappin 3, Brent Harvey 3, Matthew Lloyd 2, Brad Ottens, Stuart Maxfield, Josh Francou, Joel Smith, Adam Goodes.
BEST - Ireland: Tadgh Kennelly, Graham Geraghty, Brendan O'Sullivan, Padraig Joyce, Cormac Sullivan, Brendan Devenney. Australia: Matthew Lloyd, Craig Bradley, Andrew McLeod, David King, Adam Ramanauskas, Matthew Lappin.
UMPIRES: Brett Allen (Australia) Pat McEnaney (Ireland).
Ireland won series 2-0.
Players of the series:
MATTHEW LLOYD (Jim Stynes Medal)

Sunday Independent
Dublin, Sunday October 13th 2002


THE matches are 80 minutes long four 20 minute quarters with a five minute interval at the end of the first and third and a ten minute break at half time.

EACH team consists of 23 players with 15 on the field at any given time and eight interchange players.

PLAYERS can enter and leave the game at any stage but must do so through the interchange area. No interchange player can enter the field of play until the player he is replacing has also entered the interchange area.

EACH team is allowed an official 'runner' who may enter the field of play to make changes or pass on instructions.

THE ball is a regulation Gaelic football. The goal is a standard Gaelic football goal with an additional 'behind' post on either side 6.5m from the goal posts.

SCORING is as follows: A goal is worth six points. An over (a point in Gaelic football) is worth three points. A behind (wide of the goal but inside the behind posts) is worth one point.

A PLAYER is not allowed to carry the ball more than 10m without bouncing or playing it.

HAVING been awarded a mark (catching the ball directly from the kick of another player no less than 20m away) a player may move back behind the spot where the mark was made and take a free kick. Alternatively the player may play on immediately after after taking the mark, kicking or hand passing the ball.

A PLAYER is allowed to tackle another player in possession between the neck and the waist. Once tackled, a player must release the ball.



International Rules
Aussies win a thriller

In a dramatic final quarter, Australia took the First Test in the 2002 Coca Cola International Rules Series on a 65-58 scoreline played at Croke Park in Dublin on Sunday (October 14) to a crowd of 44,221.

The Gaelic Athletic Association website reported —
Not quite the walkover some of us might have thought it would be in the first half. Both John O'Keeffe and Garry Lyon had said they were going for goals early on in the hope that those six pointers would open up a significant enough gap between the two teams. That wasn't to be the case, as point (or overs, in this case) scoring ability was the most important skill.

The Australians matched Ireland score for score for the first seven minutes. Graham Geraghty marked his comeback from the GAA wilderness with a well-taken over after five minutes. Daniel Kerr and Mathew Scarlett were on target for the Australians. It was the Aussies who saw the first goal chance go their way. Craig Bradley, the 38-year-old veteran of these tests since 1984, sent in a high ball from a free which Peter Burke did well to prevent going into the back of the net.

The talk of the first quarter was Andrew Kellaway in the Australian goal. He smothered two close range chances. The first fell to Padhraic Joyce. The second one was more gilt-edged. Darragh O'Se was running in on goal when he received the ball. He planted the ball directly at Kellaway, who only managed to punch it out as far as O'Se again, however, with a gaping goal in front of him, O'Se sent his kick wide of the posts for a behind.

Nathan Brown, a man who impressed in the Australian's warm up match, kicked a fantastic Gaelic-style point from twenty-five yards out on the Hogan Stand side of the pitch, before Dessie Dolan, Joe Bergin and Ciaran McManus added scores to leave Ireland 21-10 up at the end of the first twenty-minute period.

The second quarter saw Ireland extend their lead through Padhraic Joyce, before Mathew Pavlich, Cameron Bruce and Nathan Brown staged an Antipodean rally to get within nine points of the home team. Ray Cosgrove, Padhraic Joyce, Ciaran McManus and Derek Savage got Ireland back on track before the half time break. A series of overs and behinds saw Ireland go into the break on double scores, leading Australia by 38-19.

The Australians typically do well in the final two quarters. That's where their professional fitness shines through, and the third quarter certainly lived up to previous expectations. The game came alive in the final two quarters, and the crowd responded to that, adding to the atmosphere and egging on both teams.

Mathew Pavlich and Chris Johnson moved up into the forward positions, and they proved to be a handful for the Irish defence. Padhraic Joyce could have put the Irish into an enviable lead after just six minutes. He blazed a gilt-edged goal chance wide. The miss was made even worse by the fact that Dessie Dolan was standing unmarked beside him.

It was the Australians who opened their goal account first. A sloppy kick out by Peter Burke was swooped on by Matthew Pavlich, who ran in and duly slotted home low and hard to get the Australians within ten points. Chris Johnson and Pavlich were on target with overs towards the end of the third quarter to get them to within two points at the end of the third quarter.

Nathan Brown gave the Australians their first taste of the lead at the start of the final quarter. Joe Bergin had a great chance to bring Ireland back into contention after nine minutes. McGeeney gave the ball to O'Sullivan, who passed on to Joyce, who fisted it to Bergin, who went steaming in on goal. However, when it came to the crunch, he blasted his shot wide to gain just one point instead of six.

The Australian number four got his sides second goal after eleven minutes. Some more sloppy work allowed him to receive a pass Chris Johnson, who was on sparkling form. Kerr showed no nerves in front of goal as he beat Peter Burke to raise the green flag again. That gave the Australians a ten-point lead going into the last nine minutes.

Padhraic Joyce made up for his earlier mistake just ninety seconds later. A high ball went in over the defence. Joyce pounced and raced in on goal. Kellaway came to meet him, and Joyce fed a hand pass to Dessie Dolan, who fisted home to send the 44,221-strong crowd into raptures. Australia could have sealed the deal with just three minutes to go but Nathan Brown's shot forced a great save from Peter Burke.

There was a goalmouth scramble right at the death, with the Irish defence lying on top of the ball in the hope that Australia wouldn't hammer home an even bigger advantage. They were saved by the hooter though, and they head into the second test seven points behind the travelling party.

Ireland v Australia
Sunday, October 14, 2002
at Croke Park, Dublin, crowd: 44,221
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
IRE 0.6.3 – 21 0.11.5 – 38 0.12-9 – 45 1.14.10 – 58
AUS 0.3.1 – 10 0.5.4 – 19 1.10.7 – 43 2.15.8 – 65
GOALS, 6 points: Australia: Daniel Kerr, Matthew Pavlich. Ireland: Dessie Dolan.
OVERS, 3 points: Australia: Nathan Brown 5, Matthew Pavlich 3, Chris Johnson 2, Adem Yze 2, Luke Darcy, Chris Judd, Daniel Kerr. Ireland: Tadgh Kennelly 3, Dessie Dolan 2, Jer O'Sullivan 2, Padraig Joyce, Ray Cosgrove, Graham Geraghty, Ciaran McManus 2, Darragh O Se, Derek Savage.
BEHINDS, 1 point: Australis:
Matthew Pavlich 2, Craig Bradley, Cameron Bruce, Luke Darcy, Chris Johnson, Chris Judd, Daniel Kerr. Ireland: Tadgh Kennelly, Burke, Jer O'Sullivan, Dessie Dolan, Joyce, Darragh O Se.
Australia: Nathan Brown 0-5-0 (15), Craig Bradley 0-0-1 (1), Matthew Pavlich 1-3-2 (14), Daniel Kerr 1-1-1 (10), Chris Johnson 0-2-1 (7), James Clement 0-0-3 (3), Adem Yze 0-2-0 (6), Matthew Scarlett 0-1-0 (3), Luke Darcy 0-0-2 (2), Chris Judd 0-0-1 (1), Cameron Bruce 0-0-1 (1)
Ireland - Dessie Dolan 1-2-0 (12), Padhraic Joyce 0-2-2 (8), Tadgh Kennelly 0-2-2 (8), Ray Cosgrove 0-2-0 (6), Brendan Jer O'Sullivan 0-2-0 (6), Ciaran McManus 0-1-2 (5), Darragh O'Se 0-1-1 (4), Derek Savage 0-1-0 (3), Joe Bergin 0-0-2 (2), Graham Geraghty 0-0-1 (1)
Pavlich, Brown, A.Kellaway, Johnson, Bradley, Kerr.
Ireland: Kennelly, Burke, Jer O'Sullivan, Dolan, Joyce, S.O Se.
Umpires: Brian White (Ireland), Scott McLaren (Australia).

International Rules
Australia wins the series 107 to 100

Australia has hung on to win the International Rules series with a thrilling draw in the second Test at a Siberian and inclement Croke Park in Dublin on Sunday afternoon (October 20). After Australia won the first Test 65-58, Ireland had to win by eight points to clinch the series or by seven to draw it and retain the trophy they won last year.

The GAA website reports: A record crowd of 71,532 for the series between the two countries attended. It emerged after the whistle that almost 78,000 tickets were pre-sold for this game, so only the weather stopped the attendance from almost reaching capacity. Roll on 2003, when hopefully the Aussies will embrace the tests in similar numbers.

It was edge of the seat stuff as the visitors reeled off 24 points to Ireland’s five in the last quarter to snatch a draw, and there was some controversy as Australian Brad Scott was sent off for punching Graham Geraghty in the second quarter. But it’s the Aussie’s series, so Ireland will be looking to restore lost pride in 2003.

Ireland 42 (1-8-12) Australia 42 (1-11-3)

After plenty of thrills and spills at a colourful Croke Park, the visiting team has once again carried off the laurels in the International Rules series between Ireland and Australia.

The Irish went into the game trailing by seven points from the first test, and they trailed by the same margin, on aggregate, at the end of this decider, 107-100.

As was the case last week, a stirring late comeback by the Aussies was enough to scrub a big lead that the Irish had worked so hard to eke out. Playing with the gale behind them in the third quarter, normally the period when the Australians cut loose, Ireland pinned back the opposition and outscored them 20-0, with a goal coming when Cormac McAnallen pulled on a loose ball in the square to finally get one past Andrew Kellaway. At 37-18 going into the last, it looked good for Ireland, but still, the record 71,552 crowd in the stadium was prepared for a big push from the Aussies, and they got it.

Defending stoutly in the opening minutes of the final quarter, all was still going to plan for the home side, but then a hopeful punt into the square was met by the towering Luke Darcy, who palmed to the net to ignite a comeback. Irish ‘keeper Stephen Cluxton will have to shoulder some of the blame for his indecision in coming off the line, and it is one of the ironies of the 2002 series that the Australians, who play their game without a goalie, had the more accomplished performer between the posts over the two tests.

Buoyed by the goal and making good use of the wind to keep Ireland hemmed into defence, the Aussies then began kicking scores for fun. Nathan Brown with two, Josh Francou and Christopher Judd all kicked overs to close the gap to just a point with only nine minutes gone, and with the traffic all one way, it seemed to be just a matter of time before Australia took the lead and closed out the contest. But credit to Ireland, they knuckled down and dominated the rest of the game - only missed chances denied them.

Eamon O’Hara stemmed the tide when he kicked a three-pointer, and then two behinds from Ciaran McManus and Graham Geraghty (a close-range free that really should have been sent over for three) put a six-point lead in place for the home side, with five minutes to go, meaning that just one more point would have secured the series on aggregate. High drama followed as the Irish came forward in waves, playing their best stuff of a patchy overall performance, and Evan Kelly’s intuitive flick under a high centre could well have nestled in the onion bag on another day. That was the last real effort Ireland had, and it was left to Australia to close out the scoring and level matters with two overs from Chris Johnson, ensuring they ended this series unbeaten.

Prior to the last quarter, matters were largely dictated by which end either team was attacking. Both countries harnessed the wind to make it very difficult for their opponent to get out of their own half and this was borne out in the scoring. Ireland exploited the elements to lead 12-4 at the end of the first quarter, but were second best in the next as they trailed 18-17. Then, McAnallen’s goal helped Ireland to that 37-18 lead going into the final period, but as before, the wind was the crucial factor.

Overall, Ireland could look on this as an opportunity lost to buck the trend of home sides not winning the series. Australia really only had one top class attacker in Nathan Brown, yet kicked more overs than the Irish and less behinds. Also, like last week, Ireland let their opponents off the hook by displaying a lack of composure in front of goal. Westmeath’s Dessie Dolan failed to learn a lesson from the first test by shooting high for a goal just after start of the match, to leave it easier for Kellaway to make the save, and on another occasion in the second quarter, Eamon O’Hara shot for goal from 25 metres when a team-mate was unmarked in the square. Indeed, poor option-taking and failure to spot opponents in space, as well as a degree of fumbling and poor handling with the greasy ball, undermined the home challenge all afternoon.

However, the results will show that the 2002 series belongs to Australia, and they deserve credit for their spirited fightback in the last quarter, when all seemed lost. Ireland too deserve praise for their gutsy showing which fell just short in the end and whatever about the result, the magnificent drama of the closing stages, and the closeness of the contests overall, have ensured that this hybrid has earned a place in the hearts of Irish fans.

Ireland v Australia
Sunday, October 20, 2002
at Croke Park, Dublin, crowd: 71,552
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
IRE 0.3.3 – 12 0.4.5 – 17 1.7.10 – 37 1.8.12 – 42
AUS 0.1.1 – 4 0.5.3 – 18 0.5.3 – 18 1.11.3 – 42
GOALS, 6 points: Australia: Luke Darcy. Ireland: Cormac McAnallen
OVERS, 3 points: Australia: Nathan Brown 4, Chris Johnson 3, Josh Francou, Chris Judd, Stephen Milne, Robert Murphy. Ireland: Dessie Dolan 2, Eamon O'Hara 2, Graham Geraghty, Padraig Joyce, Ciaran McManus, Derek Savage..
BEHINDS, 1 point: Australia:
Nathan Brown, Chris Judd, Adem Yze. Ireland: Tadgh Kennelly 3, Graham Geraghty 2, Trevor Giles 2, Dessie Dolan, Jer O'Sullivan, Padraig Joyce, Cormac McAnallen, Ciaram McManus
Australia: Nathan Brown 0-4-1 (13), Chris Johnson 0-3-0 (9), Luke Darcy 1-0-0 (6), Christopher Judd 0-1-1 (4), Josh Francou 0-1-0 (3), Stephen Milne 0-1-0 (3), Robert Murphy 0-1-0 (3), Adam Yze 0-0-1 (1).
Ireland: Dessie Dolan 0-2-2 (8), Cormac McAnallen 1-0-1 (7), Eamon O’Hara 0-2-0 (6) Graham Geraghty 0-1-2 (5), Ciaran McManus 0-1-1 (4), Padraig Joyce 0-1-1 (4), Derek Savage 0-1-0 (3), Trevor Giles 0-0-2 (2), Tadhg Kennelly 0-0-2 (2), Brendan Jer O’Sullivan 0-0-1 (1).

Brown, Bickley, Clement, Johnson, Montgomery, A.Kellaway.
Ireland: Giles, Cluxton, Moynihan, Kennelly, Geraghty, McAnallen.
Umpires: Bryan White (Ireland), Scott McLaren (Australia).
BRAD SCOTT (Aus) reported by umpire SCOTT McLAREN for striking GRAHAM GERAHTY (Ire) in the second quarter. On December 17, a panel consisting of LIAM MULVIHIL (GAA), PAT DALY (GAA) and ANDREW DEMETRIOU (AFL) heard a guilty plea to the charge by Scott. The panel suspended Scott for three International Rules matches.

Australia won the series on aggregate: 107 to 100.

A Kellaway; C Johnson, B Scott, C Judd; A Simpson, J Clement, J Francou; S Crawford, A Yze; N Brown, R Murphy, C Bradley; M Scarlett, M Bickley, S Milne. Inter-change players: B Montgomery, D Kerr, T Edwards, L Darcy, W Tredera, C Bruce, C Cornes, A Lekkas. Red Card: B Scott (27 min); Yellow Card: A Yze (47 min).
Ireland: S Cluxton; P Christie, D Ó Sé, A Lynch; C McAnallen, S Moynihan, K McGeeney; T Giles, G Canty; D Dolan, T Kennelly, BJ O'Sullivan; P Joyce, C McManus, G Geraghty. Inter-change players: J Bergin, R Cosgrove, C Holmes, E Kelly, D Meehan, E O'Hara, T Ó Sé, D Savage.

International Rules
Rules of the game

In general terms for the Australian football supporter, International Rules is Australian Football with a round ball. All the key features are basically the same – kicking, handpassing, tackling and marking. Tactics are also similar – centre clearances, forward line set ups, zone defences and man on man strategies are used. The key differences (other than the round ball!) can be summarised as follows:

Scoring: A cross bar and net are added to traditional AFL goals. A ball kicked or knocked (not handpassed) into the net scores 6 points, a ball going above the cross bar is called an "over" and earns 3 points, and a behind earns 1 point. A goal keeper protects the goal area. Note: Should the ball hit the post and return into play, it is play on.

Teams: Fifteen a side on the ground – 6 defenders, 6 forwards, 2 midfielders and the goalkeeper with 8 interchange players.

Out of bounds: There are no boundary throw ins – a free kick is awarded against the team which last touches the ball.

Field of play: The ground shape is a rectangle for International Rules rather than an oval as in AFL. It is approximately 145 metres in length and 90 metres in width. Only two players per team are allowed in the centre for the start of play.

Ball on ground: A player on the ground or on his knees may not pick the ball up – he can knock on only.

Solo run: A player must bounce or touch the ball on the ground at least once every 10 metres and is allowed a maximum of 2 bounces. However, he may solo run (play the ball from hand to foot to hand) as many times as he likes.

Tackling: The modified arm tackles (below shoulders and above thighs) is allowed in International Rules, however tackling by one arm or swinging an opponent to the ground, is now allowed.

Bumping: Side to side (shoulder) bumps are allowed provided neither player is airbourne. However players cannot shirt-front or shepherd no matter where the ball is.


Saturday, October 25, 2003

International Rules
Slick Aussies give harsh lesson to Irish

It was no surprise to see Ireland fail in the opening Test at Subiaco Oval on Friday night, according to the Dublin newspaper The Examiner which noted the absence of several key players with a proven track in this code.

The combination of poor passing and sloppy finishing by Ireland, compared to the consistency of Australia over three of the four quarters, was highly influenced by the powerful forward 194cm and 99kg BARRY HALL, and meant the outcome was inevitable.

Craig O'Donohue
reported in The West Australian: Down 14 points at quarter time, incidents in the second quarter sparked Australia and with an unstoppable attack led by Hall went on to kick three goals (Chris Johnson, Brad Johnson and Shane Crawford) and gain a 10 point win in front of 41,228 excited fans.

Lenny Hayes, Brett Kirk and Brent Harvey were on fire in the midfield while Glen Jakovich overcame a poor start and was superb as goalkeeper when the pressure was applied.

Mark Bickley and Matthew Scarlett were later reported and will face the Tribunal on Wednesday. The panel will consist of former Hawthorn footballer and solictor Richard Loveridge, the AFL's legal advisor Andrew Dillon, and Pat Daly, the Gaelic Athletic Association's major games manager.

Ireland and Australia will face each other again in the Second Test to be played at the MCG on Friday night.


Australia v Ireland
Friday (n), October 24, 2003
Subiaco Oval, crowd: 41,228
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
AUS 0.3.2 – 11 0.7.6 – 27 2.9.8 – 47 3.10-8 – 56
IRE 1.6.1 – 25 1.8.2 – 32 1.9.8 – 41 1.10.10 – 46
GOALS, 6 points: Australia: Brad Johnson, Chris Johnson, Shane Crawford. Ireland: Benny Coulter (Down).
OVERS: 3 points: Australia: Barry Hall 4, Matthew Pavlich, Lenny Hayes, Nathan Brown, Clint Bizzell, Paul Hasleby, Brent Harvey. Ireland: Steven McDonnell (Armagh), Padraig Joyce (Galway), CCiaran McManus (Offaly), Kieran McGeeney (Armagh), Joe Higgins (Laois).
BEST: Australia: Barry Hall, Chris Johnson, Brent Harvey, Nathan Brown, Brett Kirk, Brad Johnson. Ireland: Steven McDonnell, Claran McManus, Benny Coulter, Tom Kelly, Graham Canty.
Umpires: Stephen McBurney (Aust.), Bryan White (Ireland).
Reports: Following a review of incidents during the second quarter, Mark Bickley (Aust) was charged with rough play against Tom Kelly (Ireland) while Matthew Scarlett (Aust) was charged with striking Dessie Dolan (Ireland).
Both Australian players were suspended at Wednesday's Tribunal. Bickley was suspended for one International Rules match; Scarlett was suspended for three International Rules matches.

Saturday, November 1, 2003

International Rules
Ireland wins 2nd Test, but Aussies take the series

Of the many anomalies in the collage of Australian and Gaelic football, one of the more curious is how a team can lose a match yet immediately celebrate.

CHIP LE GRAND reported in The Australian today such was Australia's fate at the MCG last night after they lost by three points but finished up winning the series by a combined margin of seven points over the two Tests.

In a pattern that has become the norm in International Rules, the Irish amateurs adapted their game best to the wintry conditions and took an early stranglehold on the match before Australia's full-time professionals, with superior fitness produced a barnstorming finish.

By the time the final siren sounded, an exhausted Ireland had watched a 17-point lead at three-quarter time whittled down to a single kick.

Australia's Barry Hall while benched in the second term, when Ireland raced to a 22-1 lead, he could not be kept quiet all night and was a central figure in the final quarter comeback, kicking the first over for the term and running roughshod over the tiring Irish defence.

Newly signed Richmond forward Nathan Brown also produced a brilliant final term cameo, scoring three overs in as many minutes.

Subject to approval by both boards, the series has been extended through until 2012, during which time the series is expected to become a three-Test format.


Australia v Ireland
Friday (n), October 31, 2003
Weather: Rain, ground heavy.
MCG, crowd: 60,235
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
AUS 0.1-1 – 4 0.4-3 – 15 1.5-6 – 27 1.10-9 – 45
IRE 2.2.4 – 22 2.4.6 – 30 2.8-8 – 44 2.9.9 – 48
GOALS, 6 points: Ireland: Brian McDonald, Steven McDonnell. Australia: Brent Harvey.
OVERS: 3 points: Ireland: Steven McDonnell 3, Padraig Joyce 2, Benny Coulter, Dessie Dolan, Anthony Lynch, Brian McDonald. Australia: Nathan Brown 3, David Wirrpunda 2, Barry Hall, Rohan Smith, Brad Johnson, Brent Harvey, Matthew Pavlich.
BEST: Ireland: Padraig Joyce, Steven McDonnell, Cormac McAnallen, Aanthony Lynch, Graham Canty, Kieran McGeeney. Australia: Nathan Brown, Brad Johnson, Luke Power, Shane Crawford, Brent Harvey, Matthew Pavlich.
Umpires: Stephen McBurney (Aust.), Bryan White (Ireland).
Australia won the series on aggregate by seven points.

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

International Rules series

Seventeen members of the 2004 All-Australian side selected on September 7 have withdrawn from the squad scheduled to play two Tests on Dublin on October 17 and 24 against Ireland in the International Rules series at Croke Park.

A new squad was announced in Melbourne on Tuesday.

The team is:
Luke Ball (St Kilda), Craig Bolton (Sydney), Jude Bolton (Sydney), Joel Bowden (Richmond), Michael Braun (West Coast), Nathan Brown (Richmond), Cameron Bruce (Melbourne), Joel Corey (Geelong), Jared Crouch (Sydney), Nick Dal Santo (St Kilda), Alan Didak (Collingwood), Andrew Embley (West Coast), Brad Green (Melbourne), Robert Haddrill (Fremantle), James Hird (Essendon, capt), Max Hudghton (St Kilda), Jason Johnson (Essendon), Austinn Jones (St Kilda), Brett Kirk (Sydney), Matthew Lappin (Carlton), Adam McPhee (Essendon), Mark McVeigh (Essendon), Mal Michael (Brisbane Lions), Brady Rawlings (Kangaroos), Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda), Dean Solomon (Essendon).

Damien Barrett in the Herald Sun noted that injuries, tiredness, wedding commitments, personal travel plans and suspension have left Nick Riewoldt, Matthew Lappin, Austinn Jones, Adam McPhee and Brett Kirk as the touring squad's only representatives from the team of the year.

It is further observed that 18 of the 26-man squad finished in the top six of their club's best-and-fairest count this year.

The squad will under go a training camp this weekend before travelling to Dublin on Monday.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

International Rules
Ireland names its squad

The 30-man squad chosen to meet Australia next Sunday in the First Test of the Coca Cola International Rules series at Croke Park was announced at the Westin Hotel in Dublin on Monday.

The Ireland panel includes AFL players TADGH KENNELLY (Sydney) and SEAN O'hAILPIN (Carlton).

The full panel is :
Stephen Cluxton, Brian Cullen, Alan Brogan (Dublin)
Stephen McDonnell, Philip Loughran (Armagh)
Tomás O'Sé, Eoin Brosnan, Paul Galvin (Kerry)
Tadhg Kennelly (Kerry-Sydney Swans)
Setanta O'hAilpín (Cork-Carlton)
Sean Óg O'hAilpín, Graham Canty (Cork)
Brendan Coulter (Down)
Ciaran McDonald, James Nallen, David Heaney (Mayo)
Sean Martin Lockhart (Derry)
Ciaran McManus (Offaly)
Declan Browne (Tipperary)
Mattie Forde (Wexford)
Tom Kelly (Laois)
Padraig Joyce, Joe Bergin (Galway)
Brian McGuigan Sean Cavanagh (Tyrone)
Dessie Dolan (Westmeath)

On stand:
Mickey McVeigh (Down)
Denis Glennon, Rory O'Connell (Westmeath)
Martin McGrath (Fermanagh)

Thursday, October 14, 2004

International Rules

The Australians had a 10-point win against a combined team from Dublin clubs on Wednesday afternoon at Parnell Park.

St Kilda's Nick Riewoldt was a standout, playing with flair and scoring three overs, each worth three points.

Among those to impress in the warm-up to the first Test were Andrew Embley, Adam McPhee, Nathan Brown and Robert Haddrill.

Australia: 19, 30, 40 – 1.12.9– 51
Dublin: 11, 20, 26, 41

Goal (6 points): Matthew Lappin. Overs (3 points): Nick Riewoldt 3, Brad Green 3, Joel Bowden 2, Luke Ball, Matthew Lappin, Adam McPhee, Nathan Brown, James Hird, Nick Dal Santo.


Monday, October 18, 2004

International Rules – First Test
Ireland thrash Aussies 77-41

Mark Robinson reporting from Dublin for the Herald Sun says Ireland outran, outplayed, and at times, out-muscled Australia in the First Test of the Coca Cola International Rules series played on Sunday afternoon at Croke Park in front of a crowd of 46,370.

The Aussies trailed at every break, and despite a responsive third quarter after coach Garry Lyon highlighted their errors at halftime, the Irish remained in control.

Ireland v Australia
Sunday, October 17, 2004
Croke Park, Dublin, 14:10, Crowd: 46,370
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
IRE 1.7.1–28 2.9-4–43 3.11-6–57 3.17-8–77
AUS 0.1.2–5 0.3.4–13 1.6-7–31 1.9-8–41
Ireland: Goals [6 pts]: Mattie Forde, Stephen McConnell, Padraig Joyce. Overs [3pts]: Dessie Dolan 4, Joe Bergin 2, Sean Cavanagh 2, Brendan Coulter 2, Tadgh Kennelly 2, Stephen McConnell 2, Mattie Forde, Padraig Joyce, Tom Kelly, Alan Brogan. Behinds [1 pt]: Claren McManus 3, Mattie Forde, Tadgh Kennelly, Brian McGuigan, Paul Galvin, Setana O'hAilpin. Australia: Goals [6pts]: Nathan Brown. Overs [3pts]: Nathan Brown 3, James Hird 2, Joel Bowden, Jason Johnson, Luke Ball, Adam McPhee. Behinds [1 pt]: Nathan Brown 2, Nick Riewoldt 2, James Hird, Luke Ball, Joel Bowden, Brad Green.
Dessie Dolan 0-4-0 (12), Stephen McDonnell 1-2-0 (12), Mattie Forde 1-1-1 (10), Padraig Joyce 1-1-0 (9), Tadgh Kennelly 0-2-1 (7), Sean Cavanagh 0-2-0 (6), Brendan Coulter 0-2-0 (6), Joe Bergin 0-1-0 (3), Alan Brogan 0-1-0 (3), Claren McManus 0-0-3 (3), Tom Kelly 0-1-0 (3), Brian McGuigan 0-0-1 (1), Paul Galvin 0-0-1. Setana O'hAilpin 0-0-1 (1).
Australia: Nathan Brown 1-3-2 (17), James Hird 0-2-1 (7), Luke Ball 0-1-1 (4), Joel Bowden 0-1-1 (4), Jason Johnson 0-1-0 (3), Adam McPhee 0-1-0 (3), Nick Riewoldt 0-0-2 (2), Brad Green 0-0-1 (10).
Best: Ireland: Claren McDonald, Brendan Coulter, Dessie Dolan, Stephen McConnell, Padraig Joyce. Australia: Luke Ball, Brady Rawlings, James Hird, Nathan Brown.
Umpires: Michael Collins (Ireland), Stephen McBurney (Australia).

Rohan Connolly of The Age reported the match ...

Ireland stuns Australia in series opener

A fired-up and breathtakingly fast Ireland last night effectively clinched the international rules series with a stunning 36-point thrashing of a disappointing Australia at Croke Park.

Australia will lose its first series to the Irish since 2001 unless it can win by an even more comprehensive margin next Sunday after a performance that at times bordered on embarrassing, the touring side not only shown up for skill, but pace and teamwork as well. Even Australia's renowned aggression could make little difference, the visitors not getting close enough to their opponents to make their edge in tackling a factor.

Ireland set up its 77-41 win with a blistering opening term, in which it slammed on 25 points before Australia managed its first "over", worth three points. From then on, the visitors were chasing their tails, several times rallying briefly only for the Irish to inevitably hit back with a succession of scores, including three six-point goals, the Aussie defence all at sea against the impressive local forward set-up.

Ireland had won the first quarter in the previous seven clashes between the countries. But as much as Australian coach Garry Lyon stressed to his players the importance of a good start pre-game, it made little difference.

The Irish were on fire right from the start, kicking six overs within the first 10 minutes, while Australia could manage only one paltry behind. Ireland's superior skill with the round ball was obvious, the visitors continually turning the ball over, while the Irish ran and passed it brilliantly.

Key forward Dessie Dolan was unstoppable early with three of those six three-pointers, the wind taken out of his sails only after a heavy collision with Sydney's Jared Crouch. And when fellow forward Stephen McDonald received a nice cross and ran into an open goal to blast the ball past Australian goalkeeper Mal Michael to make the score 25-2, the visitors looking set to be on the wrong end of a hiding.

It took Australia 15 minutes for its first over, through vice-captain Nathan Brown, and while the titleholders began the second quarter with a little more composure, Luke Ball kicking another three-pointer on five minutes, Ireland showed impressive resistance. The visitors began to generate more run through midfield, but poor kicking proved costly, even skipper James Hird blasting one shot well wide of even the point posts.

Irish forward Mattie Forde began to impose himself on the action, booting a three-pointer, and then only minutes later beating a tackle and thumping the ball past a helpless Michael from 15 metres for the second goal of the game. Adam McPhee managed a mark and over right on the half-time siren, but Australia, even with its superior fitness and strength, was already in need of a minor miracle, still trailing by 30 points.

And it will need an even bigger one now to have any hope of winning its third international rules series in a row.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

GAA president calls for three-test series

President Sean Kelly is seeking support to switch the structure of the Coca-Cola International Rules Series from a two-test to a three-test competition.

With Ireland's resounding 77-41 victory over the Aussies on Sunday, it seems that this year's series is now over with just one test played. However, a three-match series decided on test wins and not aggregate scoring, would keep the series alive - at least until the second test.

"I still believe it's worth exploring. I know there are time difficulties in both countries, but we could look at the possibility of playing a third test under lights in mid-week," he said.

"We’ll be moving towards more floodlit GAA venues over the coming years, so we could play one of the tests outside Dublin while obviously there’s no problem with night games in Australia because they have so many floodlit grounds.

"People will argue if one side won the first two tests, the third would be irrelevant, but I still think it's a fairer test than adding the scores from two games together. This is an excellent series, so it makes sense to have three games when teams travel so far."

The International Rules Series has been played on an aggregate basis since its revival in 1998. The series of 1984, 1986, 1987 and 1990, were three-test competitions.

from GAA website

Monday, October 25, 2004

International Rules – Second Test
Ireland claim the series

Ireland wrapped up the International Rules series against Australia in a physical Second Test played on Sunday afternoon at Croke Park in Dublin before a crowd of 60,515.

reported from Dublin in The Age: The Irish were jumped at the start by the fired-up visitors, stung by a barrage of criticism both here and at home after last week's dismal performance. But after looking rattled for a while, the home team's superior skills again shone through, while Australia, despite a far more aggressive attack on the football this time, once more struggled to use the unfamiliar round ball.

It was a far more switched-on Australia than last Sunday, the visitors' tackling intense, and Nathan Brown again on fire. The clever small forward scored three overs in the first quarter after Luke Ball had opened the scoring. Australia quickly established a six-point lead, but the Irish eventually found their feet.

While Australia played its best football last week in the third term, it was the home side that did so this week, its decisive burst ensuring that it not only won the battle, but the war as well.


Ireland v Australia
Sunday, October 24, 2004
Croke Park, Dublin, 14:10, Crowd: 60,515
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
IRE 0.3.3–12 0.7.2–23 1.12.2–44 1.15.4–55
AUS 0.4.0–12 0.8.2–26 0.11.2–35 0.12-5–41
Ireland: Goals [6 pts]: Padraig Joyce. Overs [3pts]: Tadgh Kennelly 3, Sean Cavanagh 2, Padraig Joyce 2, Alan Brogan 2, Brendan Coulter, Dessie Dolan, Mattie Forde, Paul Galvin. Australia: Goals [6pts]: mil. Overs [3pts]: Nathan Brown 7, Austinn Jones 2, Nick Riewoldt 2, Luke Ball, Jude Bolton.
Padraig Joyce 15, Tadgh Kennelly 9, Alan Brogan 7, Brandan Coulter 4, Sean Cavanagh 4, Dessie Dolan 4, Mattie Forde 3, Paul Galvin 3, Eoin Brosnan 2, Claren McManus 2, Tom Kelly 2, David Heaney 1. Australia: Nathan Brown 21, Nick Riewoldt 7, Austinn Jones 6, Luke Ball 3, Jude Bolton 3, Nick Dal Santo 1.
More details to follow.
Umpires: Michael Collins (Ireland), Stephen McBurney (Australia).
IRELAND: Stephen Cluxton; Sean Og O hAilpin, Graham Canty, Sean M. Lockhart; Brian Cullen, Tom Kelly, Claran McManus; Joe Bergin, Sean Cavanagh; Paul Galvin, K McDonald, Tadgh Kennelly; Dessie Dolan, Padraig. Joyce (capt.), Brendan Coulter. Inter-Change: James Nallen, Alan Brogan, Eoin Brosnan, Declan Browne, Mattie Forde, David Heaney, Martin McGrath, Brian McGuigan.

AUSTRALIA: Mal Michael; Brett Kirk, Jude Bolton, Austinn Jones; Cameron Bruce, Dean Solomon, Brady Rawlings; James Hird (capt.), Nick Riewoldt; Joel Corey, Luke Ball, Nick Dal Santo; Alan Didak, Nathan Brown, Andrew Embley.
Inter-Change: Max Hudghton, Mark McVeigh, Joel Bowden, Brad Green, Michael Braun, Jude Bolton, Adam McPhee, Roger Haddrill.

Ireland won the series on aggregate 131-82.
Player of the series: Stephen Cluxton (Ireland)
Best Australian: Nathan Brown

Rohan Connolly of The Age reported the Second Test ...

Irish terriers tear through Australia

There were always going to be fireworks at the start of Sunday's second international rules Test between Australia and Ireland, given the extent to which not only the touring party's application, but its courage had been questioned after the 36-point first-game thrashing.

But the start of this game was not only like a major pyrotechnics display, but the most gripping of dramatic plots, with a touch of Benny Hill thrown in before Ireland went on to win 55-41.

The fireworks came not just on cue, but before it, a tangle between Australian hard man Dean Solomon and the ponytailed blond Irish equivalent of Dermott Brereton, Ciaran McDonald, before the game had even started sparking an all-in stoush involving most of the players on the ground.

Barely had proceedings got underway before the drama began to unfold, Australian captain James Hird was sent from the field after a minute as the fired-up visitors attempted to overhaul a 36-point leeway and briefly looked a chance to do so after scoring three three-point overs in the first 10 minutes, setting up an early six-point lead.

The comic farce just topped it off, a small dog invading the pitch and, for some reason, allowed to remain there for at least the next five minutes, twice interfering with play, before one Irish ground official finally pounced on the mutt and removed it from the arena.

The first quarter was also, more importantly, filled with the sort of fast and flowing football which can make the international rules brand so entertaining to watch. For 20-odd minutes, there was so much going on it was difficult to know exactly where to look.

In past years, the physical pressure applied to the Irish by the Australians would have sent the home side into an anxious spin.

But this year Ireland was made of far sterner stuff. It absorbed the punishment, then counterpunched with aplomb. Come the start of the second half, it was the home team delivering the knockout blow.

That was courtesy mainly of its captain Padraig Joyce, whose brilliance with the round ball shone through with two overs and the game's only goal in the third quarter.

Ireland slammed on four overs in the first six minutes of the term, and when Joyce ran into goal and slotted the ball to the right of goalkeeper Mal Michael, Ireland suddenly led by 12 points, and its aggregate lead had ballooned to nearly 50.

This was a much better performance by the Australians, but their lack of skill with the round ball was again the fatal flaw.

Perhaps the visitors should take lessons from vice-captain Nathan Brown, a deserving Jim Stynes Medal winner as his team's best player of the series. He looks as at home and dangerous as in his native game and was consistently the only Australian forward scoring when it mattered, his seven overs out of his side's 13 a magnificent effort.

The locals have always had the talent; now they have the resilience to go with it. As the pesky canine who overstayed his welcome proved, even their pets can match it with us these days.


No question about Nathan Brown winning the Jim Stynes Medal as Australia's best player. The team vice-captain was a cut above nearly all his teammates with the unfamiliar ball, his accuracy in front of goals unerring, his seven overs on Sunday accounting for half his team's score.

Australia's defence struggled, Craig Bolton and Robert Haddrill at times all at sea against quicker and more skillful Irish opponents. The touring team's seeming inability to improve its disposal after two weeks on the track also proved frustrating.

Two standouts. Matthew Lappin's smartness near goal was never allowed an opportunity after he was injured in the first warm-up game and missed both Tests. Sydney's Jared Crouch broke a collarbone in the first Test, returning home the next day.

See disappointments. It was lack of touch with the round ball that killed Australia in 2004, some players perhaps underestimating the difficulty of the transition.

Sunday's opening quarter was an absolute ripper - a pre-match fight, some send-offs, a couple of near goals which hit the post, the comic farce of a dog's appearance on the pitch and most importantly, some fast, flowing and fantastic football.

The headlong rush to brand the Australians as disinterested party-goers because of their first-Test thrashing. Those who actually watched the group train and play can vouch for their commitment.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Jim O'Sullian reports in the Irish Examiner: AFL and GAA bosses have voiced their support for the future of the International Rules despite Ireland’s 50-point victory over the champions at Croke Park.

The Australians lost the series on a 132 to 82 aggregate score line, and were roundly criticised in the media in both hemispheres.

GAA president Seán Kelly admitted to being pleased that the second test had been more competitive, and for that reason, much more entertaining for the 60,515 crowd.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou also described the series as a success and slammed allegations that the visitors treated the trip as little more than a junket and as a glorified end of season trip.

Demetriou said the AFL could not fault the effort of the players and coaches and lauded Ireland for having learned some lessons from the past. But he said he would continue to work to make the series more appealing to the league’s best players and said it would be a point of discussion with AFL coaches at their next conference. Officials, who held a review meeting on Friday, confirmed arrangements for next year’s tour, which will feature tests in Perth (first) and Melbourne. Longer-term, both associations are interested in playing games outside of Dublin, such as Belfast, Limerick, Galway and Killarney.

Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton was voted as the Irish player of the series and leading scorer Nathan Brown was picked as the top Australian player over the two games.


Friday, October 7, 2005

International Rules

Ireland is coming to grips with the loss from its squad of Sydney's Tadhg Kennelly who will miss with an ankle injury.

Mark Stevens reports in the Herald Sun that Kennelly's scratching came as a shock to Irish manager Pete McGrath, who had been planning to unleash the 24-year-old against the Australians in Ireland's bid to win the two-game series, scheduled for Subiaco Oval on October 21 and at Docklands on October 28.

The team will be captained by Padraig Joyce, of Galway, who has represented Ireland nine times in the hybrid game.

Irish squad: Sean Cavanagh (Tyrone), Brian Dooher (Tyrone), Philip Jordan (Tyrone), Brian McGuigan (Tyrone), Ryan McMenamin (Tyrone), Eoin Mulligan (Tyrone), Stephen O'Neill (Tyrone), Eoin Brosnan (Kerry), Colm Cooper (Kerry), Tomas O Se (Kerry), Graham Canty (Cork), Anthony Lynch (Cork), Sean Og O'hAilpin (Cork), Michael McVeigh (Down), Brendan Coulter (Down), David Heaney (Mayo), Ciaran McDonald (Mayo), Padraig Joyce (Galway, captain), Michael Meehan (Galway), Tom Kelly (Laois), Ross Munnelly (Laois), Ronan Clarke (Armagh), Bryan Cullen (Dublin), Dessie Dolan (Westmeath), Mattie Forde (Wexford), Ciaran McManus (Offaly), Sean Martin Lockhart (Derry).

Australia is expected to name its squad next week before it enters its training camp at Busselton. Coach Kevin Sheedy with selectors Gerard Healy and Rod Austin are considering their options.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Chip Le Grand, The Australian
Hybrid game changing two codes

THE value of International Rules has long been in the eye of the beholder.

While some see the annual series as little more than a curiosity, others consider it a genuine and worthy form of national representation. But one thing beyond argument is the influence hybrid rules has had on the indigenous football codes of both countries.

When the first Australian team arrived in Dublin in 1967, tour organiser Harry Beitzel warned Irish reporters: "We will change the way you play your game."

As Australia and Ireland prepare for tonight's latest rematch at Subiaco Oval, it is doubtful that even Beitzel would have envisaged the way both codes have been shaped by this unlikely sporting exchange.

If you visited Ireland and watched a Gaelic county match 20 years ago, you would have seen players taking free-kicks off the ground, a general fitness and conditioning level no better than amateur, suburban football and an antiquated system of referees keeping time, coaches being unable to bring substituted players back on and almost no examples of the overhead mark or "high fielding" as it is known locally.

Go to an Irish county match in another five years and you could see Gaelic players flying for marks and taking set shots for goal out of their hands. The players will be highly conditioned endurance and power athletes; faster and stronger than ever before. A runner will relay messages from the coach and a time clock will trigger the final siren. If a player is reported, he will be referred to a disciplinary tribunal.

Sound familiar? Some of it has already happened and some of it is being considered by the GAA, the governing body for Gaelic football and hurling. They are radical changes and the GAA is conservative by nature. But as Irish coach Pete McGrath said yesterday, sporting codes must evolve or stagnate.

"When people ask me what could Gaelic football take out of the International Rules, what I would say and what most people would say is the mark," McGrath said. "Even if it was just in the middle third of the field, it would encourage high catching and reward the man who has made the clear catch."

Pat Daly, the head of games for the GAA, said the 1990 rule change allowing free-kicks to be taken from the hands rather than off the ground is the most significant change of the past 20 years.

Having worked closely with the AFL's Kevin Sheehan to revise the hybrid rules, Daly confirmed that other AFL-influenced reforms were being considered. These include the introduction of team runners, an interchange bench and a time clock, and further changes to the tribunal system, which was modelled on the old AFL system two years ago.

At the same time, International Rules has influenced the rule-makers of Australian football, though more by interpretation than reform. Sheehan believes reduced tolerance towards players diving on the ball can be traced to Gaelic football, in which players are prohibited from picking the ball up once they have lost their feet. Such a rule was trialled in last year's pre-season competition, along with a continuation in play after the ball hits the post.

In the past five years, the charging rule has led to the virtual eradication of the traditional "shirt-front" and greater limits on the use of the hip and shoulder bump generally. In Gaelic football, only "shoulder-to-shoulder" side-on contact is prohibited.

The contemporary style of both games is also converging, with a shared emphasis on retaining possession, running the lines and finding smaller, mobile forwards in space rather than hulking key forwards in a crowd of players.

"Some of our coaches have looked at basketball and how they put numbers back and now that we have got respect for the Gaelic Athletic Association and their coaches, people like Sheedy and others will be moved to look at some of their strategies in terms of ball movement and deep defence," Sheehan said.

McGrath said the most direct influence of International Rules on Ireland's players and coaches was the recent improvements in conditioning, weight training and use of sports science. When the International Rules concept was reintroduced in 1998 after an eight-year hiatus, the relative size, strength and speed of the Australian players made a lasting impact on the Irish amateurs.


Saturday, October 22, 2005
International Rules – First Test
Aussies rattle the Irish in Perth

Australia seem assured to regain the Corman McAnnallen trophy following their domination of Ireland in the First Test played on Friday night at Subiaco Oval in Perth before a crowd of 39,098.

Paul Gough
for Sportal reported Kevin Sheedy pulled off one of the greatest coaching triumphs in his long career after his hand-picked "speed team" destroyed Ireland to record the biggest score in the history of the competition since the hybrid concept started between the two countries in 1984.

Fleet-footed players such as Aaron Davey, Andrew Lovett, Nathan Eagleton and Luke Hodge were in their element, proving far too quick for their Irish opponents, who went into the match as favourites after humbling Australia in two Tests last year.

After being rattled by Australia's pace, the Aussies allowed the Irish lads to score frequently in the fourth quarter but still cruised to a massive 36 point victory.

Mark Stevens noted in the Herald Sun: The decision to pick a team suited to the hybrid game rather than giving All-Australian players first option to play was vindicated spectacularly.

The victory was so emphatic, the concept itself could be under threat. If this Australian team was so hot after a week of training, how good will it be by the time it tours Ireland next year?

Australia v Ireland
Friday, October 21, 2005
Subiaco Oval, Perth, 20:40, Crowd: 39,098
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
AUS 0.8-1–25 1.12.4–46 2.19.7–76 2.27.7–100
IRE 0.4.3–15 0.7.8–29 1.7.9–33 3.11.13–64
Australia: Goals (6 pts): Andrew Lovett, Chris Johnson. Overs (3pts): Shannon Grant 3, Nick Davis 3, Luke Hodge 3, Andrew Lovett 3, Ryan O'Keefe 2, Lindsay Gilbee 2, Daniel Giansiracusa 2, Aaron Davey 2, Chris Johnson, Nathan Eagleton, Matthew Lappin, Trent Croad, Brent Harvey, Amon Buchanan, Chris Newman. Ireland: Goals (6pts): Brendan Coulter 2, Sean Cavanagh. Overs (3pts): Stephen O'Neill, Ronan Clarke 3, Sean Cavanagh 2, Brendan Coulter, Mattie Forde, Ciaran McDonald.
SCORERS – Australia: Andrew Lovett 1-3-0 (15), Nick Davis 0-3-1 (10), Shannon Grant 0-3-1 (10), Luke Hodge 0-3-0 (9), Chris Johnson 1-1-0 (9), Ryan O'Keefe 0-2-2 (8), Aaron Davey 0-2-1 (7), Lindsay Gilbee 0-2-0 (6), Daniel Giansiracusa 0-2-0 (6), Nathan Eagleton 0-2-0 (6), Matthew Lappin 0-1-0 (3), Trent Croad 0-1-0 (3), Brent Harvey 0-1-0 (3), Amon Buchanan 0-1-0 (3), Russell Robertson 0-0-2 (2). Ireland: Brendan Coulter 2-1-3 (18), Sean Cavanagh 1-2-1 (13), Ronan Clarke 0-3-2 (11), Stephen O'Neill 0-3-2 (11), Ciaran McDonald 0-1-1 (4),Mattie Forde 0-1-0 (3), Eoin Brosnan 0-0-2 (2), Padraig Joyce 0-0-1 (1), Colm Cooper 0-0-1 (1).
Best: Australia: Brent Harvey, Andrew McLeod, Luke Hodge, Daniel Giansiracusa, Nick Davis, Andrew Lovett. Ireland: Brendan Coulter, Sean Cavanagh, Stephen O'Neill.
Umpires: Mathew James (Australia), David Coldrick (Ireland).

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Jim Sullivan, Irish Examiner
Deflated Ireland left 'grabbing the shadows'
AUSTRALIAN coach Kevin Sheedy admitted to some surprise that his team finished with the magical figure of 100 points in the opening test of the Fosters International Rules Series in Perth last evening.

Yet while that exceeded his expectations, his players – already dubbed ‘Sheedy’s Speedies’ in Australia – performed exactly the way he wanted them, maximising their potential and frustrating the Irish side at every turn.

“They worked very hard from day one,” said Sheedy. “We looked at what we felt were the strengths of the Irish team and the very talented players they have and hoped we could play somewhere nearer a better standard.’’

Irish manager Pete McGrath commented that the team had been put on “its backside,” after the manner of their success last year. And that next Friday’s second test in Melbourne will be all about “restoring pride.”

He also suggested that the turnaround achieved by the Australians could be a major worry for whoever takes over from him, but more immediately they will have to work on “lifting morale.”

“Any right-minded person would say that the series is beyond us. But we have to go out and try and do what we can to try and narrow that margin.

“We needed to move the ball fast, pressurise them, take responsibility for men and go for three-points. The Australians were just so superior that we were not able to track them at times. We didn’t get enough of the ball and when we had the ball we were under serious pressure and our shots for three-pointers quite often let us down. Their level of fitness, their cohesion, their ability to run with the ball and break our tackle - we simply couldn’t cope with it.

“Let’s be honest, the tackling hasn’t been an Irish strong point. But, they were moving with such speed and such power that tackles which we normally would have got in, we couldn’t. They were breaking through the tackles and we were left quite often grabbing the shadows!”

He admitted that the speed, the athleticism and the skill of the home side over the four quarters “far exceeded” Ireland’s, and their kicking was superior to anything he had seen from an Australian team.

Regarding Ireland’s interchange policy, McGrath said: “It just appeared to us that whoever came appeared not to make any difference in the pattern of the game. As the game wore on, changes we did make were not having any impact. They used it exceptionally effectively, they moved men in and out faster than we did.”

Sheedy pointed out that while he had talked last week about the speed in their squad, he didn’t mention their ‘ball handling’ ability and their general decision-making.

He agreed that the Irish team will be intent on salvaging their pride in the Telstra Dome.

McGrath and his selectors will have learned a lot from this game, said Sheedy, recognising it was their first time ‘seeing’ the Aussies in action.

“It’s very hard to study the Australian team because they come from everywhere.’’

Australian captain Andrew McLeod is also cautious about the second test. “It’s only half time. There’s no doubt the Irish will come out very strong next week.”


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Martin Windsor-Black
Australia v Ireland, 1984-2005

u In the overall head-to-head since 1984 – Australia trail Ireland
by one Test (12 to 13)
by one series (5 to 6)
by 33 points (1515 to 1548)

u Only one of the first nine series up to 2002 was won by the home side, Ireland in 1998.

u Australia trail Ireland in Australia by 46 points
Ireland trail Australia in Ireland by 13 points

u Ireland have generally scored more 'goals' (unders, 6 points) than Australia. The 2002 and 2003 series are the exceptions.

u Australia's 27 'overs' (3 points) in the 2005 First Test in Perth smashed the previous record of 18 in a match set in 1984.

u Australia have not scored more than 27 'overs' in a series since 2000.
The most 'overs' in a two Test series is 30 by Ireland in 2001 and 2004.

International Rules summary

In Australia
  P A I D 6 3 1 Pts   6 3 1 Pts


1986 3 1 2 2 31 37 142   12 23 33 174 Ire by 32
1990 3 1 2 0 30 29 119   3 33 26 143 Ire by 24
1999 2 1 1 2 28 18 114   3 27 23 122 Ire by 8
2001 2 2 2 26 15 105   4 30 16 130 Ire by 25
2003 2 1 1 4 20 17 101   3 19 19 94 Aus by 7
2005* 1 1 2 27 7 100   3 11 13 64 Aus by 36


13 4 8 1 12 162 123 681   28 143 130 727  
In Ireland
  P A I D 6 3 1 Pts   6 3 1 Pts


1984 3 2 1 4 51 45 222   12 37 25 208 Aus by 14
1987 3 2 1 4 39 41 182   7 26 35 155 Aus by 27
1998 2 1 1 4 23 25 118   6 25 17 128 Ire by 10
2000 2 2 2 29 24 123   2 23 17 98 Aus by 25
2002 2 1 1 3 26 11 107   2 22 22 100 Aus by 7
2004 2 2 1 22 10 82   4 30 18 132 Ire by 50


14 8 5 1 18 190 156 834   33 163 134 821  


Series summary
  P A I 6 3 1 Pts   6 3 1 Pts
in Australia 6* 1 4 12 162 123 681   28 143 130 727
in Ireland 6 4 2 18 190 156 834   33 163 134 821


12* 5 6 30 352 279 1515   61 306 264 1548


Highest Scores
(100) 2.27.7 AUS 2005-1T v Ire 3.11.13 (64)
(80) 3.18.8 IRE 1984-2T v Aus 1.18.16 (76)
(77) 3.17.8 IRE 2004-1T v Aus 1.9.8 (41)
(76) 1.18-16 AUS 1984-2T v Ire 3.18.8 (80) *
(76) 1.18.16 AUS 1984-3T v Ire 5.11.8 (71)
(72) 3.14.12 AUS 1987-2T v Ire 3.6.11 (47)
(71) 5.11-8 IRE 1984-3T v Aus 1.18.16 (76)
(71) 2.17.8 IRE 2001-2T v Aus 1.13.7 (52)
(70) 2.15.13 AUS 1984-1T v Ire 4.8.9 (57)
(70) 2.16-10 IRE 1999-1T v Aus 0.16.14 (62)

* Highest Losing score

Lowest Scores
(31) 0.7.10 AUS 1990-2T v Ire 3.9.7 (52)
(32) 0.7.11 AUS 1986-3T v Ire 4.8.7 (55)
(38) 0.10-8 AUS 1990-1T v Ire 0.12.11 (47)
(41) 1.9.8 AUS 2004-1T v Ire 3.17.8 (77)
(41) 0.13-2 AUS 2004-2T v Ire 1.13.10 (55)
(42) 1.11.3 AUS 2002-2T v Ire 1.8-12 (42)
(42) 1.8.12 IRE 2002-2T v Aus 1.11-3 (42)
(44) 0.12.8 IRE 1990-3T v Aus 0.13.11 (50)
(45) 1.10.9 AUS 2003-2T v Ire 2.9.9 (48)
(46) 1.10.10 AUS 1986-2T v Ire 3.10-14 (62)
(46) 1.10.10 IRE 2003-1T v Aus 3.10.8 (56)
(47) 3.6.11 IRE 1987-2T v Aus 3.14.12 (72)
(47) 0.12.11 IRE 1990-1T v Aus 0.10-8 (38) *
(47) 1.11.8 IRE 2000-1T v Aus 0.14.13 (55)
(48) 2.9.9 IRE 2003-2T v Aus 1.10.9 (45)
(50) 0.13-11 AUS 1990-3T v Ire 0.12-8 (44)

* Lowest Winning score

Greatest Winning Margins
36pts 2004-1T Ire 3.17.8 (77) v Aus 1.9.8 (41)
36pts 2005-1T Aus 2.27.7 (100) v Ire 3.11.13 (64)
25pts 1987-2T Aus 3.14.12 (72) v Ire 3.6-11 (47)
23pts 1986-3T Ire 4.8.7 (55) v Aus 0.7.11 (32)
21pts 1990-2T Ire 3.9.7 (52) v Aus 0.7.10 (31)
19pts 2001-2T Ire 2.17-8 (71) v Aus 1.13.7 (52)
17pts 2000-2T Aus 2.15.11 (68) v Ire 1.12.9 (51)
16pts 1986-2T Ire 3.10-14 (62) v Aus 1.10.10 (46)
14pts 2004-2T Ire 1.13.10 (55) v Aus 0.13.2 (41)
13pts 1984-1T Aus 2.15.13 (70) v Ire 4.8.9 (57)
11pts 1998-2T Ire 4.12.7 (67) v Aus 2.10.14 (56)
10pts 2003-1T Aus 3.10.8 (56) v Ire 1.10.10 (46)

Friday, October 28, 2005
International Rules
Umpires cleared of First Test bias

Paul Gough reporting for Sportal for notes the AFL and the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) on Thursday dismissed any concerns over biased decisions from Australian umpire Mathew James during last Friday's first Foster's International Rules Test in Perth.

After Ireland suffered a record 36 point loss, the Irish press accused James of unfairly favouring the Australian team during the match in which the home side became the first to ever score 100 points in a Test – leaving the Irish a huge task to win the series in Friday night's second Test in Melbourne.

However a review of the first Test by the AFL-GAA control committee led by the AFL's Kevin Sheehan and the GAA's Pat Daly has praised the performances of the two umpires, James and Ireland's David Coldrick.

Their review of the match revealed that just seven incorrect frees were paid in the match, compared to a total of 51 correct decisions, while only two free-kicks were incorrectly missed during the match.

Saturday, October 29, 2005
International Rules
Fights mar Aussie series win

Australia 0.18.9 – 63
Ireland 0.11.9 – 42

Ireland refused to be intimidated by Australia in the Second Test played at Docklands Stadium on Friday night in front of 45,428 fans. The Aussies made a clean sweep of the series with an aggregate margin of 57 points.

Paul Gough
noted for Sportal that the home side's victory was overshadowed by a series of running battles between the teams which was in complete contrast to the first Test when the Irish were crushed in Perth.

Right from the outset the Irish showed they weren't going to be intimated and the niggly affair exploded halfway through the second term.

Chip Le Grand for The Australian reported the night, and to some extent the series, will again be remembered for a single, savage act by an Australian player, justified neither by the context of the match nor the series.

This time it was Chris Johnson, a decorated and wonderfully combative player for Brisbane for the best part of a decade, who took out Philip Jordan with a right swinging arm as the Tyrone defender was turning upfield. The force of the blow, delivered in true "coat hanger" style, lifted Jordan off his feet and slammed his head into the turf.

Irish referee Michael Collins was already reaching for a red card when Johnson, Australia's captain for the night, swung at Irish forward Mattie Forde, who had come in to remonstrate. From there, Johnson turned his attention to Anthony Lynch and other, as a fierce melee ensured.

The ramification for Johnson, apart from having to sit out the rest of last night's game is a match review panel sitting to decide an appropriate penalty. At the very least, it should cost him a trip to Ireland.

The broader impact is the damage that Johnson and his Australian team-mates have done to this annual series of inter-code exhibition matches.

With Johnson looking on, the third quarter degenerated into a series of rolling brawls. It is always hard to know who starts what in these circumstances but, by the end of the match, Luke Hodge had let fly several right hands to the head of Ciaran McManus; Trent Croad had been yellow-carded; Darren Milburn had shoved his own team runner to the ground and Ryan O'Keefe had unintentionally poleaxed referee Collins.

The Irish remained loosely in the match until three-quarter time but, in the final 20 minutes, Australia's greater composure and superior fitness threatened to turn the game into a rout. By the final siren, the Irish were too tired to run and simply tired of fighting.

Australia v Ireland
Friday, October 28, 2005
Docklands Stadium, Melbourne,
Roof closed: 19:45, Crowd: 45,428
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
AUS 0.3.2–11 0.9.4–31 0.11.7–40 0.18.9–63
IRE 0.4.1–13 0.7.8–29 0.8-8–32 0.11.9–42
Australia: Goals (6 pts): nil. Overs (3pts): Ryan O'Keefe 4, Andrew Lovett 3, Matthew Lappin 3, Nick Davis 2, Shannon Grant 2, Troy Makepeace, Amon Buchanan, Aaron Davey, Daniel Giansiracusa. Ireland: Goals (6pts): nil. Overs: (3pts): Ross Munnelly 2, Sean Cavanagh 2, Ronan Clarke 2, Ciaran McManus 2, Dessie Dolan, Padraig Joyce, Ciaran McDonald.
SCORERS - Australia: Ryan O'Keeffe 0-4-2 (14pts), Andrew Lovett 0-3-0 (9 pts), Matthew Lappin 0-3-0 (9pts), Nick Davis 0-2-0 (6pts), Shannon Grant 0-2-0 (6pts), Amon Buchanan 0-1-1 (4pts), Aaron Davey 0-1-1 (4pts), Troy Makepeace 0-1-0 (3pts), Daniel Giansiracusa 0-1-0 (3pts), Lindsay Gilbee, Nathan Eagleton, Andrew McLeod, Jarred Waite, Darren Milburn 0-0-1 (1pt) each. Ireland: Ross Munnelly 0-2-1 (7pts), Sean Cavanagh 0-2-1 (7pts), Ciaran McManus 0-2-0 (6pts), Ronan Clarke 0-2-0 (6pts), Dessie Dolan 0-1-1 (4pts), Ciaran McDonald 0-1-0 (3pts), Padraig Joyce 0-1-0 (3pts), Graham Canty, Colm Cooper, Mattie Forde, Anthony Lynch, Stephen O'Neill, Brendan Coulter 0-0-1 (1pt) each.
Best: Australia: Matthew Lappin, Andrew McLeod, Dustin Fletcher, Andrew Lovett, Lindsay Gilbee, Dainel Giansiracusa, Ryan O'Keefe, Nathan Eagleton. Ireland: Tom Kelly, Michael McVeigh, Ross Munnelly, Sean Cavanagh, Graham Canty.
Umpires: Mathew James (Australia), Michael Collins (Ireland).
Report: Umpire Michael Collins issued a red card against Chris Johnson (Aus) during the second quarter for an incident involving Irish players Philip Jordon and Mattie Forde. At a joint AFL-GAA Tribunal hearing on November 10, Johnson pleaded guilty to striking Jordon and Forde. The Tribunal suspended Johnson for five International Rules matches.

Martin Windsor-Black

It's taken 6 attempts, but finally Australia have won in Melbourne – in the first match of the hybrid series to be played under a roof.

Since Ireland's win in 1986 at Waverley, the margin has steadily moved in Australia's favour – it was only a matter of time.

Ireland won by 16 points in the 2nd Test of 1986 at Waverley
Ireland won by 9 points in the 1st Test of 1990 at Waverley
Ireland won by 8 points in the 1st Test of 1999 at MCG
Ireland won by 6 points in the 1st Test of 2001 at MCG
Ireland won by 3 points in the 2nd Test of 2003 at MCG

Australia have won by 21 points in the 2nd Test of 2005 at Docklands
Australia's score of 0.18.9-63 is their highest score in Melbourne beating their 0.16.14-62 in the 1st Test of 1999 at MCG
Ireland's score of 0.11.9-42 is their lowest score in Melbourne - beating their 0.12.11-47 in the 1st Test of 1990 at Waverley.
Ireland's score of 0.11.9-42 equals their lowest ever score from the Drawn 2nd Test of 2002 at Croke Park when they scored 1.8.12-42 to Australia's 1.11.3-42.

This was the 3rd goalless game  (no 'unders') between the two countries.

The first was the 1st Test of 1990 at Waverley in which Ireland won 0.12.11-47 to Australia 0.10.8-38.

The second was the 3rd Test of 1990 at the WACA in which Australia won 0.13.11-50 to Ireland's 0.12.8-44.

The Overall Standings are now –
Series: Australia 6, Ireland 6
Tests: Australia 13, Ireland 13, Drawn 2
Scores: Australia 30.370.288-1578, Ireland 61.317.273-1590 

So, Australia have drawn level on Series and Tests won and just 12 points separates the two from 28 Tests.

Australia have now won two series 2-0, 2000 in Ireland (aggregate margin: 25pts) and 2005 in Australia (agg mgn: 57pts).

Ireland have also won two series 2-0, 2001 in Australia (agg mgn: 25pts) and 2004 in Ireland (agg mgn: 50pts).

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Martin Breheny, Irish Independent
Brutal Aussie triumph in Melbourne

THE roof was closed in the Telstra Dome yesterday, but it didn't stop the sky falling in on Ireland's bid to salvage something from the second International Rules test.

The series was already lost when Ireland took a 36-point deficit to Melbourne, but the plan was to rescue something from the adventure by beating the Australians.

For a time, it looked as if might actually happen as Ireland led through much of the first quarter, but once the Australians accelerated in the second quarter, they quickly opened up a lead which they never surrendered.

Ireland played better than in the first test, but were still comprehensively beaten in a game where Australia's return to physical intimidation sickened the Irish team and their large band of supporters in the crowd of 45,488.

Philip Jordan was almost decapitated by a straight-arm tackle from Chris Johnson which earned the Aussie co-captain a red card. Anthony Lynch and Mattie Forde were among other Irish players who took nasty knocks as Australia set about bullying their way to victory. It left Irish manager Peter McGrath seething angrily, describing the Australians' behaviour as "utterly unacceptable".

"Some of the tackling that went on out there had nothing to do with sport," he said. "The truth is that we had amateur players in a high-risk situation. It's simply not good enough when a player's life and limb are put at serious risk," said McGrath.

However, it's important to separate the Australians' ghastly behaviour from their football skills. While Ireland have every right to be furious over the dangerous approach adopted by the Australians, it had absolutely nothing to do with their victories in either Perth or Melbourne.

The return of gratuitous violence is a matter for the GAA at boardroom level, but it shouldn't be allowed to totally overshadow the harsh reality that Ireland lost the series by a record margin of 57 points (163-106), having been given a lesson in the art of kicking the ball, an area where Gaelic footballers are supposed to have an advantage.

Over the two tests, Australia beat Ireland 45-22 in three-

pointers (points in Gaelic football), a truly staggering statistic. And their foot-passing, ball retention and general movement were also light years ahead of the Irish.

Quite simply, Ireland travelled to Australia with the same game plan that proved so successful last year ... and you aren't going to fool the Aussies with the same trick twice.

But if McGrath has to take the blame for re-heating last year's dish while the Australians were going for a completely new recipe, many of the Irish players must take responsibility too, having came nowhere near their peak.

Pádraic Joyce, Ciaran McDonald, Graham Canty, Sean Marty Lockhart, Ciaran McManus, Mattie Forde, Brian McGuigan and Seán Óg Ó hÁilpín were way down on 2004, while it really didn't work out for newcomers Mickey McVeigh, Michael Meehan, Owen Mulligan, Stephen O'Neill and Colm Cooper. There was huge interest in the 'Gooch' in Australia on the basis of his reputation as a Gaelic footballer but, frankly, he looked totally unsuited to the mixed game.

It was left to Tom Kelly, Seán Cavanagh, Anthony Lynch, Benny Coulter, Brian Dooher and Ronan Clarke to provide most inspiration. Kelly, who was outstanding at full-back yesterday, was named as Ireland's best player, a richly deserved honour, while his Laois colleague Ross Munnelly also turned into a fine performance yesterday after being omitted from the squad for the first test.

Ireland worked hard at sorting out the problems which afflicted them in Perth and they duly led 13-11 at the end of the first quarter. They really should have been much further ahead, but, once again, they were betrayed by poor finishing.

Australia's best period was the second quarter which they won 20-5, which left them leading 31-18 at half-time. Ireland rallied in the third quarter and cut the lead to six points to trail 40-32 after an hour, but they had missed some good goal chances and also had one ruled out for reasons best known to an inconsistent Australian referee. Their poor scoring rate proved costly as Australia powered up again in the final quarter which they won 23-10.

McGrath – who insisted that he was delighted by the pride shown by the Irish team – will definitely be replaced as manager for next year, if there is a next year. It's also likely that at least half the squad have played their final game for Ireland. The 57-point series defeat has seen to that.

They said it ...

"GAA has little option ..."
DAN OAKES, The Age, October 31, 2005

Pictures of Australian hard man Chris Johnson standing over two prone Irishmen at Telstra Dome have sparked loud calls in Ireland for the Gaelic Athletic Association to pull the pin on the hybrid game.

"On the evidence of what appeared to me to be a cleverly premeditated plan by the Australians to smash up the Irish team in the third quarter of the game, I believe the GAA has little option but to cancel next year's proposed series," former coach Eugene McGee wrote in the Irish Independent.


In the Letters page of The Age, October 31, one said –

Aussie thuggery was just not footy
I WAS appalled at the carry on of what could hardly be described as a football game between Australia and Ireland in the international rules series on Friday night. This fighting would have been broken up by police if it had occurred anywhere else in Melbourne on the same evening.

The first match a week earlier was fine, Ireland lost on footballing terms. Friday night's second match was different: it was unfriendly and was an absolute disgrace, mainly for Australians as your players lost the plot completely, starting fights, fouling late all over the field. The "sport" was reduced to just fighting at times, and as the Irish players were outsized because they were picked for their footballing skills, the Aussies, being poorly reffed and controlled, were allowed to run riot.

Do we – Australia and Ireland – want a football match, do we want to see skills, or do we want to see fighting? If all we want is a fight, Ireland can send over our kick-boxing and boxing teams and let's just have a fight. No one will say this series will be remembered for any of the footy, or for creating links. How can we show this to the kids of today and expect them to benefit?

I think all those involved in the Gaelic Athletic Association should now halt this series for the moment and review it seriously. This was not a celebration of football; this was a complete and utter disgrace. Shame.
Martin Kelly, Dublin, Ireland


Three letters which appeared in The Irish Times on November 2 –

Madam, – I'm an Aussie with dual Irish/Oz citizenship. I am ashamed and disgusted at the thuggish criminal behaviour of a couple of the Australian International Rules players recently. This sort of violence has crept into Australian Rules football and is not checked. In fact, it is highlighted and encouraged by the Aussie media. It is alienating a whole generation of parents who will now not let their children play the sport, a very sad outcome.

The majority of Australians are appalled by this violence in sport. Yours, etc,
MIKE FENTON, Bunbury, West Australia

Madam, – I am embarrassed and ashamed about the disgraceful display of violence against your country's football players last Friday night. I could not believe what I was watching and I urge the Irish to cancel all further matches against Australia immediately.

In our media today there has been an outcry against the dreadful behaviour in the game, and I want your readers to know that many Australians abhor what took place.

I hope that the stupidity of a few does not lessen your regard for the rest of us.
Sincere apologies, Yours, etc,
ELIZABETH JAMES, Clarinda, Victoria

Madam, – ... You have to ask the question: what was the Irish football association thinking of, to put their courageous amateur boys up against professionals like this? Of course it was going to expose them to injury. Every Australian watching the game was wincing, seeing within two minutes what was going to happen.

The Irish boys didn't deserve this treatment: it was just good luck that no one was seriously injured. As it was, they earned the admiration of Australian sports fans (not easy to come by) for their courage in standing up, whatever the personal cost. No one would have blamed them if they'd have walked away; but they didn't.
Yours, etc,
GEOFF WELLS, Adelaide, South Australia

Sunday, November 6, 2005

International Rules
Public outrage will change rules

Caroline Wilson
The Sunday Age
November 6, 2005

NINE days and a historic Melbourne Cup have passed since Australia's AFL team wrapped up the international rules series against Ireland and yet still the public outcry against the behaviour of the home team has raged.

The disappointment from Australian fans – who admittedly took an encouraging interest in the series, which led to big crowds and fabulous ratings – at what took place at Telstra Dome continued even yesterday, according to this newspaper's reader feedback services. And, while the AFL has tried to push aside the controversy and the Gaelic footballers themselves remain more than keen to take on Australia again next year, the disgust at the home team's tactics has cast a dark cloud over a concept already regularly drenched with debate.

The Gaelic Athletic Association has maintained its rage since the series was completed, with the dismay more strongly felt among older and more conservative officials, along with the Irish media, which has continued to convey its disgust.

Each day in The Irish Times over the past week, angry local letters have been published along with the sort of abject apologies from Australians such as those published above.

The series will survive because the Irish players want it to, Kevin Sheedy has thrown his considerable clout behind it and champions from both sides will continue to believe in it enough to fight for it, despite the continuing lack of interest from more than the odd AFL coach.

But there will be changes next time around. Violent incidents such as Chris Johnson's ugly loss of control in future will have footballers sent from the ground for the entire game and not replaced. A penalty shot is likely to be implemented as part of the punishment in the hope that a certain six-point goal will deter players from resorting to vicious tactics because those who play this game truly want to win.

The AFL and the GAA, though, will stop short of suspending players from their own national competition in the belief that, certainly from the Australian point of view, the threat of such a punishment would put off even more players here from taking part. This is unfortunate but then so much of the international rules series, by definition, reeks of compromise.

Last year, the tour of Ireland had the unfortunate imprint of junket all over it and this time we have the shadow of violence.

Equally disappointing has been the subtle lack of accountability on the part of the Australian team, which has continued to point the finger at the Irish. On the one hand, Johnson is said to be dreadfully remorseful and yet on the other, the Irish are being accused of shin-kicking, squirrel-gripping and of intimidating Johnson's young Aboriginal teammate Aaron Davey. These are professional footballers, for heaven's sake.

The AFL has endeavoured time and time again over decades now to spread the word internationally and take our great game overseas. And yet a regular reading of the Irish newspapers over the past week would indicate the game right now is known for one thing and one thing only, while our players, for all their brilliance, are simply regarded as bullies.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

International Rules
Ireland's outrage intensifies

Charles Happell
The Age
Melbourne, November 10, 2005

THE controversial international rules series provoked more anger and resentment towards Australia than any other recent issue in Ireland, according to a cable sent by the Australian Embassy in Dublin.

In the cable, sent last week to the Foreign Affairs department in Canberra, the embassy said it had been besieged with angry calls – as well as threats of violence – from Irish fans incensed about Australia's heavy-handed tactics in the series.

As the acrimonious fallout from the series extended to diplomatic level, the cable said the phone calls, which ranged from "moderate to abusive and threatening", were unanimous in condemning the physical punishment meted out by the Australians.

Of concern to the AFL, the cable also referred to some callers "threatening violence" against the Australian team the next time it toured Ireland, scheduled for late next year.

It also noted that no other issue in Ireland in recent years had "generated this level of negative feeling" towards Australia, mentioning in particular the level of anger on talkback radio.

The chief culprit in the second-quarter melee, Brisbane Lion Chris Johnson, will face the tribunal via videolink tonight.

It is the severe way in which Johnson dealt with Philip Jordan, then Mattie Forde, that has sparked much of the outrage, not just in Ireland but in Australia.

Other Australian players, including Darren Milburn, Luke Hodge and Trent Croad, have also been criticised for their overly physical approach in the second Test. Letters to newspaper editors, and talkback calls to radio, have almost unanimously decried the tactics.

But it is only Johnson, the Australian co-captain, who will face the tribunal after being reported by Irish referee Michael Collins for striking Jordan and Forde at Telstra Dome last Friday week.

Tribunal member Richard Loveridge will chair the panel, while Kevin Sheehan will represent the AFL and Pat Daly the Gaelic Athletic Association.

The AFL has downplayed the significance of the violence but the league has changed the competition's rules so that players sent off in future will not be allowed back on the ground, nor will they be replaced. A penalty shot from close range is likely to be implemented in the hope that a certain six-point goal will act as a deterrent.

While not discounting the threat of retribution on Australia's next tour, it is believed the Foreign Affairs department is not overly concerned by the threats of violence .

AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson said last night he was unaware of any increased security risk in Ireland. "I had hoped the government would let us know if they think there's an issue there," he said.

Locally, the treasurer of the Gaelic Athletic Association in Melbourne, Dermott Lamb, said his club was disappointed by the actions of some of the Australian players and called for a review of the competition's rules.

"I think they need to sit down and work out the rules again," he said. "The roughness needs to be taken out of the game, the tackling needs to be refined and players need to be penalised with suspensions in their own code."

Friday, November 11, 2005
International Rules
Chris Johnson gets five games
AFL-GAA change red card rules

Australia's co-captain CHRIS JOHNSON was suspended for five international games for his actions during the Second Test against Ireland on October 28.

The severe penalty was handed down by the joint sitting of AFL and GAA members of the tribunal on Thursday night in a telephone link-up between Dublin and Melbourne.

Johnson pleaded guilty to striking Philip Jordan and Mattie Forde in the second quarter, when both Irish players in statements said they were lucky to have escaped serious injury.

The AFL-GAA jointly issued a change of rules for future International Rules matches.

“When a player receives a red card the player concerned takes no further part in the game and a penalty kick (on the 13 metre line) regardless of where the offence occurred – will be awarded to the opposition and a replacement player can only be introduced after 20 minutes has elapsed from the time the penalty is awarded.”


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

International Rules
Aussies name 24-man squad

Australian selectors on Tuesday named a 24-man squad for the upcoming International Rules Series in Ireland.

The squad will gather next week in Melbourne under coach Kevin Sheedy before leaving for Ireland on October 21 and will play a first-ever night Test in Galway on Saturday October 28 at Pearce Stadium. The second Test will be played at Croke Park in Dublin on Sunday November 5.

Martin Boulton reports in The Age: Coach Sheedy said a final place on the team could be filled by retired Brisbane Lions skipper Michael Voss – although he was pessimistic about his availability – but ruled out Essendon's James Hird being selected at late notice as he was on holidays in Europe with his family.

The team is:
Chance Bateman (Hawthorn), Campbell Brown (Hawthorn), Ryan Crowley (Fremantle), Aaron Davey (Melbourne), Nick Davis (Sydney), Sam Fisher (St Kilda), Dustin Fletcher (Essendon), Lindsay Gilbee (Western Bulldogs), Brendon Goddard (St Kilda), Barry Hall (Sydney), Graham Johncock (Adelaide), Matthew Lappin (Carlton), James McDonald (Melbourne), David Mundy (Fremantle), Ryan O’Keefe (Sydney), Brett Peake (Fremantle), Danyle Pearce (Port Adelaide), Andrew Raines (Richmond), Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda), Adam Schneider (Sydney), Adam Selwood (West Coast), Justin Sherman (Brisbane Lions), Kade Simpson (Carlton), Brent Stanton (Essendon).


Friday, October 13, 2006

International Rules
Voss and Fevola join Oz squad

Recently retired Brisbane champion Michael Voss on Thursday joined the Australian touring squad to Ireland of 25 players.

Australian coach Kevin Sheedy said an influential factor in adding Voss was the amount of time he had spent on the field in his final AFL season (some 75 minutes a game) compared to the physical demands of the hybrid series.

Carlton's Brendan Fevola has replaced St Kilda's Nick Riewoldt who has withdrawn to be on hand following the Moorabbin appointment of Ross Lyon..

Tuesday, October 22, 2006
They said it ...

Mix-ups sour start of Irish tour
MARK STEVENS, Herald Sun, October 24, 2006

IT was like the opening scenes of National Lampoon's Irish Vacation, only no one was laughing.

Danyle Pearce was the star and Kevin Sheedy and several International Rules players the supporting cast as Australia suffered from an attack of the Heathrow horrors.

First there was a passport stuff-up, followed by customs hold-ups and missing boarding passes.

The end result was the team splitting, with two thirds sprinting to a connecting flight and arriving at the Ireland training base at 9pm on Sunday night.

The unlucky third – including Sheedy and his family – did not lob until 1.30am.

They were forced to catch a flight from Dublin and then endure a four-hour bus trip through the darkness.

Others on the trip from hell included assistant coach Stephen Silvagni, Carlton's Brendan Fevola and St Kilda's Brendan Goddard.

As for Port Adelaide's rising star Pearce, he is still to arrive in Killarney after accidentally taking his coach Mark Williams' passport to the airport.

Sheedy was relieved to arrive, finally getting to bed at 4am after sitting up do some training notes. The Australian management was not at fault through the saga, with the blame squarely going on Heathrow staff. "Ticketing was taken very quietly and very slowly and, quite amazingly, the team was separated," Sheedy said of the Heathrow mess-up. "Commonsense was not very common."

Pearce was set to leave Heathrow at 10am Sunday morning following Port's London exhibition, but stumbled at the final hurdle.

He arrived at the last line of customs and looked down in horror to see his coach Williams' face staring at him.

A customs official had unknowingly switched the duo's passports a few days earlier, leaving Pearce stranded.

Pearce's travel mate Robert Dipierdomenico desperately tried to contact Williams via mobile phone.

Williams answered, but he was in Manchester ready to watch United take on Liverpool in the English Premier League.

An embarrassed Pearce was forced to head back to his London hotel and wait for his passport to return.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

International rules

Fletcher and Hall to captain Aussies
GAA names squad for First Test

Essendon's Dustin Fletcher and Sydney's Barry Hall have been appointed joint captains of the Two Test series against Ireland.

Fletcher will captain the side for Saturday's sold-out Test at Pearse Stadium in Galway and Hall will lead the team in the Second Test next week at Dublin's Croke Park.

The full Australian leadership group announced by Andrew Demetriou is – Fletcher, Hall, Matthew Lappin (Carlton), Ryan O'Keefe (Sydney) and Michael Voss (Brisbane).

All are worthy successors to the outstanding leaders that have led the Australian side since 1998 – Wayne Carey (1998), Nathan Buckley (1999), James Hird (2000 and 2004), Craig Bradley (2001), Shane Crawford (2002 and 2003), Andrew McLeod (2004) and Chris Johnson (2004).

Fletcher has played 257 games for Essendon, including the 1993 and 2000 premierships, while Hall has played 204 games for St Kilda and Sydney, including the 2005 premiership.

The GAA website through Seán Boylan, the Irish International Rules manager, has announced his final squad of 25 players for the Coca Cola International Rules Test in Pearse Stadium, Galway next Saturday. The squad is as follows:

Kieran McGeeney (Captain) Armagh, Tadhg Kennelly (Sydney Swans & Kerry), Aidan O Mahoney, Marc Ó Sé, Kieran Donaghy, Paul Galvin, (Kerry), Kevin Reilly, Anthony Moyles, Graham Geraghty (Meath), Alan Quirke, Nicholas Murphy, (Cork), Ronan Clarke, Stephen McDonnell (Armagh), Tom Kelly (Laois), Colm Begley (Brisbane Lions & Laois), Sean Martin Lockhart, (Derry), Shane Ryan, Alan Brogan (Dublin), Kieran Fitzgerald, Joe Bergin (Galway), Sean Cavanagh, (Tyrone), Brendan Coulter, (Down), Dermot Early (Kildare), Paul Barden (Longford) and Karl Lacey (Donegal).

Boylan also names three players who will be on standby for selection.  They are Stephen O'Neill of Tyrone, Dessie Dolan of Westmeath and Darragh Ó Sé of Kerry.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

International Rules

Calf injury rules Mundy out of First Test
Rain likely to influence contest

Sportal reports a minor calf injury has ruled Fremantle defender David Mundy out of the Australian team for Saturday night's first International Rules Test against Ireland in Galway.

Mundy felt a slight twinge in his calf during a lead-up match and was forced to sit out the team's Thursday night training.

Australian assistant coach Danny Frawley rated the emerging youngster a slim chance of taking the field against Ireland at Pearse Stadium.

The Age carried the AAP report that Australia's marking forwards may well be redundant in the opening International Rules match against Ireland on Saturday due to persistent rain in the Emerald Isle.

Australia is now rapidly reviewing its soccer skills, as wet weather is forecast in Galway on Friday and Saturday, meaning most of the game will be played at ground level.

Any advantage to the Irish will be welcomed by neutral onlookers, as last year's series in Australia was one-sided, prompting concern that the AFL professionals were getting too good at the game for the sake of the series.

Last year's series is not remembered for its results, but for the Australia's overt physicality – bordering on outright violence – that soured relations between the two sides.

Australia has made some efforts to mend fences with the Irish ahead of Saturday's return bout, while trying to play down the excesses of the 2005 series.

New disciplinary measures have been introduced for the 2006 event – red-carded players will not be replaceable, nor will those who pick up two yellow cards.

But Australia is not about to abandon its physical approach, as therein lies the visitors' greatest advantage while Ireland has the edge in mastery of the round ball and tactical nous.

Note: Channel Ten lists a two-hour replay on Sunday at 12 noon Eastern – check your local guides.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

International Rules
Ireland wins First Test

Samantha Lane reported for The Age: Poor execution of the unpopular AFL tactic of winding down the clock cost Australia victory against Ireland in the opening Test of the this year's international rules competition played at Pearse Stadium in Galway on Saturday night, but the series remains alive ahead of the decider in Dublin.

One point up with 90 seconds remaining in the match Australia tried to slow things down by kicking back into its defence.

But the tactic that might have been well executed with an oval ball failed to come off with a round one and a botched cross-field pass by Adam Selwood gifted possession to the Irish, allowing Steven McDonnell to score an over that put the home team back in front.

Then, in the dying seconds, Galway hero Joe Bergin kicked Ireland's first six-pointer of the match to stretch the final margin to eight points — 48-40.

Australia's task of scoring at least a nine-point victory in the second game to win the series on aggregate is not insurmountable, although Kevin Sheedy's team would need to improve considerably.

How best to protect a narrow lead will no doubt be a major topic of discussion in the touring camp. "They should have known … they're two boys who have just played in a grand final, Adam Schneider and Selwood," Sheedy said of the critical errors late in the game. Schneider kicked errantly, backwards and across field, in the passage of play that led to the Irish snatching the win.

Ireland was brilliant in the opening term. Its players' multi-dimensional game made the skill-set of its Australian counterparts look comparatively limited.

The 12-point margin at quarter-time flattered Australia, which only last year had made international rules history in the opening Test with a record score of 100 points. It managed only a sole over to Ireland's five in the first quarter after a Matthew Lappin score was revised during the first break.

But Ireland's game deteriorated thereafter and an all-star cast of Sydney forwards — Barry Hall, Nick Davis and Ryan O'Keefe — brought Australia back to within touch. The Irish might have put the result beyond doubt by half-time had young Gaelic star Sean Cavanagh not favoured shooting for goal rather than nailing a sure over late in the second term.

It resulted in Australian captain Dustin Fletcher making the first of his two excellent saves. Another Sydney representative, Irishman Tadhg Kennelly, should have also converted a late set shot but missed.

A productive third term had the Australians four points in front at the last change, with Davis kicking two overs and O'Keefe nailing both an over and the goal that gave his side the lead for the first time all night.

Carlton's Matthew Lappin, picked for a fourth series, was outstanding playing out of defence and as a link man. O'Keefe was always composed.

For all the pre-match hype in the local press about the potential for violence following Chris Johnson's manhandling of the Irish in the second Test of last year's series, the match was generally played in fair spirit.

Bulldog Lindsay Gilbee required five stitches to his head but was the only Australian casualty. Sheedy will now weigh up how Brett Peake, Brendan Fevola and possibly the injured David Mundy, who were cut from the squad for the first game, could enhance the team.

The second Test will be played at Croke Park, Dublin, on Sunday.
Ireland v Australia
Saturday (n), October 28, 2006
Pearse Stadium, Galway.
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
IRE 0.5.1–16 0.6.3–22 0.8.5–29 1.12.6–48
AUS 0.1.1–4 0.4.2–14 1.8.3–33 1.9.7–40
SCORERS – Ireland: Goals (6pts): Joe Bergin. Overs (3pts) – Stephen McDonnell 4, Paul Barden, Colm Begley, Joe Bergin, Alan Brogan, Sean Cavanagh, Dermot Earley, Graham Geraghty, Tadhg Kennelly. Australia: Goals (6pts): Ryan O'Keefe. Overs (3pts): Ryan O'Keefe 3, Nick Davis 2, Barry Hall 2, Aaron Davey, Matthew Lappin.
BEST – Ireland: Tom Kelly, Stephen McDonnell, Kieran Fitzgerald, Joe Bergin, Kieran McGeeney, Alan Brogan. Australia: Matthew Lappin, Ryan O'Keefe, Dustin Fletcher, Justin Sherman, Barry Hall, Nick Davis.
UMPIRES: Pat McEnaney (Ireland), Shane McInerney (Australia).
CROWD: about 30,000 at Pearse Stadium in Galway, Ireland

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Sent home in disgrace

Nightclub incident ends Fevola's Irish tour

Carlton full-forward Brendan Fevola has been sent home from Ireland in disgrace after he was involved in a Galway nightclub incident when he clashed with a staff member on Sunday night, following Australia's defeat by Ireland the previous night in the First Test of the International Rules series.

Fevola, 25, did not play in the first-up loss and became involved in a wrestle with the staff member after drinking at the nightclub with teammates. He was interviewed by Galway police, who are yet to decide whether they will take further action.

The incident was captured on CCTV and later viewed by a disciplinary committee of coach Kevin Sheedy, captain Dustin Fletcher, AFL chief Andrew Demetriou, AFL operations manager Adrian Anderson and AFL Players' Association chief Brendon Gale.

In a statement the AFL said its disciplinary committee decided Fevola had displayed "unacceptable behaviour" and was being sent home.


Thursday, November 2, 2006

International rules

Ireland's Graham Geraghty cited

The AFL-GAA control committee has cited Ireland's Graham Geraghty for engaging in rough play against Australia's Lindsay Gilbee during the third quarter of last Saturday's First Test played at Pearse Stadium in Galway.

The charge is expected to be heard on Friday.

On Tuesday. control committee representative Kevin Sheehan (AFL) issued a notice of report – under the provision of the Laws of International Rules Football, a member of the control committee can lodge a report against a player or official for an alleged offence.

Will further charges follow?

Fevola sets out for Europe

Carlton's Brendan Fevola declined to board a flight to return to Australia on Wednesday and intends to visit Europe before coming home.

Fevola was found guilty by the AFL of "unacceptable behaviour" for an incident with a barman in Galway on Monday night during the tour of Ireland in the International Rules series.

Chip Le Grand reports in The Australian: Speaking to Channel Nine from London, Fevola admitted he was at fault for the incident at the Imperial Hotel but portrayed the response of team management as an overreaction. Fevola reiterated his remorse and said he was "shattered" to be removed from the national team.

With the whereabouts of the trouble-prone star unknown, substantially different versions of his scuffle with 'Paul the barman' have emerged.

One report notes the incident involving the barman was captured on closed circuit television footage, which police are using in their investigations.

Asked if he wanted to press charges, Paul said: "I will indeed, yes."

But he said police had been unable to tell him whether charges would proceed.

Friday, November 3, 2006

Fevola's claim of racial abuse 'simply not true'

Sportal reports AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou has slammed Carlton forward Brendan Fevola for 'looking for excuses' about why he was involved in a physical confrontation with a barman in a Galway nightclub that saw him removed from the Australian International Rules squad.

In interviews published in the Herald Sun and The Age on Thursday, Fevola claims he and team-mates had suffered racial abuse since arriving in Ireland to the extent where it was 'getting beyond a joke'.

He also said the Aboriginal members of the squad were victims of constant 'sledging'.

Demetriou said it was 'simply not true' that members of the squad – particularly ones of Aboriginal descent – were subject to verbal taunts.

Demetriou, who is in Ireland, denied any race-related attacks had been directed at the Australians and that the 'Irish are entitled to be disappointed with (Brendan's) comments'.

Demetriou was also disappointed that Fevola had not previously revealed the alleged provocation for his actions before going public with the claims.

"When we spoke to Brendan he was disappointed and shattered he was being sent home but I've been equally disappointed by his comments in the aftermath," he said.

While Demetriou said he has reviewed the tape of the incident and confirmed Fevola did not strike the barman known as 'Paul' and only initiated a headlock, he described the forward's actions as 'dangerous, aggressive and totally unacceptable'.

Demetriou said there was 'no issue' with Fevola's departure from the country and that the Carlton forward will make himself available for Australian police should the matter continue to be pursued.

They said it ...

Footage drops Fevola in outer
MICHAEL DAVIS, The Australian, November 3, 2006

Footage from a surveillance camera in the hotel where Brendan Fevola clashed with a barman last Sunday provides damning evidence against the Carlton full-forward.

It shows 25-year-old Fevola abusing Imperial Hotel barman Paul Murray, when they enter the hotel about 11pm on Sunday after a 10-hour drinking binge at Galway races.

The barman leaves the bar to go to a reception area to ring police and is followed by Fevola who appears to have a bottle in his hand. Fevola places the barman in a headlock and is pulled away by Sydney Swans' captain Barry Hall and West Coast Eagle Adam Selwood.

The footage was viewed by AFL officials before they decided to send Fevola home in disgrace from the International Rules series against Ireland.

Channel Seven obtained exclusive footage of the incident which the network screened on its news last night.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

GAA-AFL Tribunal clears Geraghty

The Irish Examiner reports the citing of Graham Geraghty by a member of the Australian Control Committee was rejected by International Rules Control Tribunal on Thursday.

Geraghty was involved in a scuffle with Lindsay Gilbee during the third quarter of the International Rules first Test in Galway, but the Committee exonerated him of the charges. Geraghty is now eligible for consideration for selection for tomorrow's second Test at Croke Park in Dublin.

The Tribunal members were David Galbally of Australia, Pauric Duffy, former Chairman of the GAC and Garrett O’ Reilly, former member of the DRA from Ireland.

The player made a personal hearing at the Tribunal and was accompanied by Sean Walsh, the Kerry County Chairman, who is the Senior County Official involved with the series.

Meanwhile, voting at the Irish Independent newspaper ran near two to one in favour of the Ireland-Australian test series to the question:
Should the International Rules series be scrapped?


Sunday, November 5, 2006

International rules

Series may extend to three Tests

AFL boss Andrew Demetriou has hinted that a three-game International Rules series will be reintroduced in the not-too-distant future.

Speaking at Croke Park on Friday in the lead-up to the Second Test, Demetriou confirmed that the AFL and Gaelic Athletic Association were holding discussions on the merit of returning to the old format.

"We don't have to guarantee the future of the series, because the series is guaranteed, we’re even talking about playing three matches in the series instead of two," he told the media.

"We've met with our colleagues from the GAA a couple of times this week and discussed how we could enhance the series and build on the success and that could mean another game and that could mean taking the game outside Dublin and Galway, perhaps to other areas and we'd be keen to support that," Demetriou said.

Also on the agenda are talks about whether or not to play the series annually.

"The series has got so much momentum," Demetriou said.

"It's hard to imagine why we would go to less games and we've got a saying in Australia: 'When you're on a good thing, stick to it'."

Monday, November 6, 2006

International Rules
Aussies take the series
Irish manager condemns Australians

The Irish Independent website on Sunday night was reporting that it has emerged that Ireland's International Rules manager Sean Boylan tried to bring his players off the pitch at the end of the first-quarter of today's Second Test against Australia.

Boylan's fellow Meathman Graham Geraghty was stretchered off the pitch after a dozen minutes, after pre-match warnings that Geraghty would be targeted today.

Australia won 69-31, and claimed the series on aggregate by 30 points. The first Test in Galway last weekend ended 48-40 in favour of the home side.

Boylan was bitterly upset and branded the Australian behaviour as ‘unacceptable’: “I’ve been involved in team management for 23 year, and played inter-county for 20, and as far as I’m concern what happened out there today in the first quarter was unacceptable in any code or spirit. It’s not acceptable on the street.

“All week Graham has been targeted. We were told what was going to happen to him and the people got their way,” he said.

Australia manager Kevin Sheedy however, leapt to the defence of his players saying that they had themselves received overly rough treatment from their opponents in the opening quarter.

The Age this morning reports Australia triumphed 3.15.6 (69) to Ireland's 0.7.10 (31) to win the series by 30 points on aggregate and retain the Cormac McAnallen Cup in front of a sellout crowd of more than 82,000.

Several fights broke out in a spiteful first quarter, the first before the starting siren sounded.

Play was stopped for several minutes in the opening term while Graham Geraghty – Ireland's danger man – was stretchered off after he was tackled by Australia's Danyle Pearce and hit his head on the ground as he was brought down.

The incident, which left Geraghty in hospital, was sure to infuriate Irish team officials after the Australians had said during the week he would be targeted.

That had followed a strong first-game performance from Geraghty, who was cleared of rough play by the tribunal in the lead-up to this match following a clash with Lindsay Gilbee in the series opener.

Ireland v Australia
Sunday, November 5, 2006
Croke Park, Dublin
Crowd: 82,127
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
IRE 0.3.1–4 0.4.4–16 0.5-5–20 0.7.10–31
AUS 1.3.1–16 1.6.3–27 3.11.6–57 3.15.6–69
SCORERS – Australia: Goals (6pts): Ryan Crowley, Brendon Goddard, Brent Stanton. Overs (3pts) – Barry Hall 4, Justin Sherman 3, Ryan O'Keefe 2, Danyle Pearce 2, Chance Bateman, Aaron Davey, Nick Davis, Brendon Goddard. Ireland (6pts): Nil. Overs (3pts): Alan Brogan 2, Dermot Earley 2, Stephen McDonnell 2, Brendan Coulter.
BEST – Australia: Danyle Pearce, Justin Sherman, Ryan O'Keefe, Barry Hall, Dustin Fletcher, Aaron Davey. Ireland: Tom Kelly, Sean Martin Lockhart, Sean Cavanagh, Anthony Moyles, Brendan Coulter, Stepehn McDonnell.
UMPIRES: David Coldrick (Ireland), Shane McInerney (Australia).
CROWD: 82,127 Croke Park, Dublin, Ireland
Ryan O'Keefe (Jim Stynes Medal)
IRELAND: Alan Brogan.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

International Rules

Statistically – the best series in Ireland

MARTIN WINDSOR-BLACK finds that statistically Australia has posted its biggest series win in Ireland and the second biggest series win overall.

It was the first time since 1987 that Australia have been ahead on the overall aggregate score.  Ireland pushed the advantage out to 33 points in 1999, before Australia pegged them back to within 8 points in 2000. Ireland blew the margin out to 69 points by 2004, however a a 57 point series win last year in Australia followed by this year's 30 point result has given Australia the ascendancy – albeit by just 18 points.

Australia's series wins in Ireland: 1984 by 14pts, 1987 by 27pts, 2000 by 25pts, 2002 by 7pts, 2006 by 30pts

Australia's 4 series goals equals the 4 they scored in 1984, 1987, 1998 and 2003. The latter was the only occurrence in Australia.

Australia's 24 'overs' in the series is their 4th lowest (behind 20 in 2003 in Aus, 22 in 2004 in Ire and 23 in 1998 in Ire.

Australia's 13 behinds is their 3rd lowest in a series 'behind' the 10 in 2004 in Ire and 11 in 2002 in Ire.

Australia's 2nd test score of 69 is their highest in Ireland since the second test in 1987.  It is also the first time they have scored 3 more goals than the Irish.

Ireland's 2nd test score of 0.7.10-31 is their lowest ever and only the 4th time they have failed to score a goal.  On the other three occasions Australia also failed to score a goal

This is the first series in which Ireland have scored just 1 goal - their lowest to date.  In 2000 and 2002 they managed just 2 goals.

The Overall Standings are now –
Series: Australia 7, Ireland 6
Tests: Australia 14, Ireland 14, Drawn 2
Scores: Australia 34.394.301-1687, Ireland 62.336.289-1669

Australia are ahead on Series but level on Tests won and just 18 points separates the two.

The 'away' side continues to have the upper hand winning 9 of the 13 series and 17 of the 30 tests.
  P A I D 6 3 1 Pts   6 3 1 Pts


1986 3 1 2 2 31 37 142   12 23 33 174 Ire by 32
1990 3 1 2 0 30 29 119   3 33 26 143 Ire by 24
1999 2 1 1 2 28 18 114   3 27 23 122 Ire by 8
2001 2 2 2 26 15 105   4 30 16 130 Ire by 25
2003 2 1 1 4 20 17 101   3 19 19 94 Aus by 7
2005 2 2 2 45 16 163   3 22 22 106 Aus by 57


14 5 8 1 12 180 132 744   28 154 139 769 Ire by 25
In Ireland
  P A I D 6 3 1 Pts   6 3 1 Pts


1984 3 2 1 4 51 45 222   12 37 25 208 Aus by 14
1987 3 2 1 4 39 41 182   7 26 35 155 Aus by 27
1998 2 1 1 4 23 25 118   6 25 17 128 Ire by 10
2000 2 2 2 29 24 123   2 23 17 98 Aus by 25
2002 2 1 1 3 26 11 107   2 22 22 100 Aus by 7
2004 2 2 1 22 10 82   4 30 18 132 Ire by 50
2006 2 1 1 4 24 13 109   1 19 16 79 Aus by 30


16 9 6 1 22 214 169 943   34 182 150 900 Aus by 43


Series summary
  P A I 6 3 1 Pts   6 3 1 Pts
in Australia 6 2 4 12 180 132 744   28 154 139 769
in Ireland 7 5 2 22 214 169 943   34 182 150 900


13 7 6 34 394 301 1687   62 336 289 1669

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Worth repeating

Fevola incident – AFL partly to blame

Caroline Wilson pulled no punches on Sunday in The Age – You don't have to be Nostradamus to predict the trouble Brendan Fevola can cause, so why have AFL officials been unable to prevent it? – more ...

Fevola given caution by gardai

No action taken by Irish police

Carlton's Brendan Fevola on Monday returned to Ireland from a brief sojourn to Europe and met with police in Galway .

While no charges will be laid by police over the matter of Fevola putting a headlock on a barman at the Imperial Hotel in Galway on the night of October 29, the 25-year footballer was given an "adult" caution, which is similar to the often-used Juvenile Liaison Scheme caution, given to youngsters for misdemeanours.

Fevola is known to have lied to the Australian media over events surrounding the affair.

The Age noted the October 29th incident occurred following a day at the Galway races, during which most footballers drank heavily and then were given a free night with no real curfew.

Monday, December 11, 2006

International rules
GAA suspends competition with AFL

Courtney Walsh reports in The Australian: The Gaelic Athletic Association, angered by the violent nature of the past two series, have cancelled a tour of Australia next October, raising serious doubts about whether the hybrid game will be played again.

Australia has beaten the Irish, both on the scoreboard and in on-field altercations over the past two years, infuriating Gaelic officials.

Officials in Australia have branded the Irish hypocritical, saying the Gaelic players have been as much to blame for the violence as their AFL counterparts.

But yesterday's decision will force the AFL to negotiate with the Irish, who will prepare a wish-list of rule changes in a bid to revive the lucrative series in 2008.

The statement from the GAA website –
The future of the International Rules was discussed at a Central Council meeting in Croke Park on Saturday, December 9.

Delegates spoke both strongly in favour and against the continuation of the International Rules Series following the incidents in the Second Test between Ireland and Australia on November 5th.  The President, Nickey Brennan, stated that the issue had been considered by the Management Committee at length and that a consultation process had taken place with players and the Irish Team Management.  He stated that he had also spoken at length to the CEO of the AFL.  He revealed that about 50% of players contacted had given their views and that they were all in favour of the Series continuing, as was the Irish Team Manager, Seán Boylan and his Selectors.  He explained however that they made it clear that any continuation must be contingent on a structure, rules and an implementation process and procedure be put in place to ensure that any future Series was conducted to the accepted norms of sportsmanship.  The President stated that the Australians appeared to accept that this was a necessary prerequisite to any consideration of the future of the Series.

On the recommendation of the Management Committee, it was agreed that there would be no Junior or Senior Series of games in 2007.  It was agreed that a document would be prepared by the GAA, which would put on record the basis of structure, rules, their implementation and penalties on which the future of any Series must be considered.   This document will be brought back to Central Council for decision after which it will be forwarded to the AFL for their consideration.  If the GAA’s terms, as outlined in this document, are acceptable to the AFL, then discussions on the future of the Series could take place.  Dessie Farrell, the player’s representative stated that while there would be some disappointment amongst players that the 2007 Series will not take place, the decision was, in his view, probably a wise one.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

International rules
l Dubai talks with GAA point to stronger penalties

A strong stand to removing the biff out of Ireland-Australia matches is a key to the return of the International series between the two countries following discussions in Dubai early this month between the GAA and AFL.

Colm Keys reported in Dublin's Irish Independent newspaper on Tuesday that players will serve any suspension accrued in the series during the National Leagues as part of the deal brokered between the GAA and AFL in Dubai aimed at re-floating the series in the (northern) autumn.

In contrast, suspended AFL players will feel the full force of a new disciplinary system in their parent code with parallel sanctions commensurate with infractions committed in the AFL showpiece, the Grand Final. Because it is the showcase game, misconduct in the Grand Final is treated more seriously than any other game and International Rules misconduct will fall into line with that standard.

The GAA and AFL hope that such a standard will act as a sufficient deterrent to wipe out the thuggery that marred the last two series.

But whether the proposed changes will be enough to sell the concept again to concerned counties remains to be seen.

The GAA has urged counties to have discussions about the re-establishment of the International Rules series after it was frozen in the wake of the 2006 Croke Park test.

The document, which has been sent to counties for discussion, proposes changes in the disciplinary system and an overhaul of the relationship between the teams.

A raft of changes under how International Rules will be revived would significantly bring removal of the type of tackle that felled the GAA's Graham Geraghty into a state of concussion during the controversial second test in 2006. Slinging, slamming or driving an opponent into the ground when executing a tackle will now merit a straight red card. The use of one-handed tackles will be removed. There is also the prospect that a rugby league-style video referee may be introduced to review incidents.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

International Rules

l Australia-Ireland to meet in Tests in October
Australia will resume the International Rules series against Ireland with two local Tests this October.

The AFL will officially launch the series early next week, with Perth hosting the first Test on October 24 and the second in Melbourne on October 31. The future of the series was in jeopardy after on-field violence marred the 2005 Australian series and the Ireland tour the following year.

Ireland's Gaelic football governing body the GAA called off the series. Senior AFL officials met with GAA counterparts late last year to start negotiations. They met again in Dubai three months ago and on St Patrick's Day, the Irish counties voted for the series to resume.

One of the features of the revived series is expected to be ramped-up sanctions for on-field incidents.

The AFL will use the series as part of their celebrations for 150 years of Australian football.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

International Rules
Australia names hard-hitting 25-man squad
Australian coach Mick Malthouse will not ask his players to rein in their natural aggression despite the future of International Rules depending on their behaviour.

Australia on Wednesday named a 25-man squad packed with youth and pace for the upcoming two-match series against Ireland at Subiaco Oval on October 24 and the MCG on October 31.

The series is a revival of the concept after it was shelved because of Irish anger over on-field violence by Australian players when it was last played two years ago.

Malthouse said he was mindful that the spirit in which this year's matches were played would be crucial to the hybrid game's survival.

But that did not mean Australia would shy away from seeking to exploit their physical edge against Irish players not accustomed to hard tackles and bumps.

The full 25-man Australian squad:
Nathan Bock (Adelaide), Matthew Boyd (Western Bulldogs), Jared Brennan (Brisbane), Campbell Brown (Hawthorn), Shaun Burgoyne (Port Adelaide), Matt Campbell (North Melb), Ryan Crowley (Fremantle), Michael Firrito (North Melb), Nathan Foley (Richmond), Brent Harvey (North Melb), Roger Hayden (Fremantle), Leigh Montagna (St Kilda), Daniel Motlop (Port Adelaide), Marc Murphy (Carlton), Michael Osborne (Hawthorn), Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood), Drew Petrie (North Melb), David Rodan (Port Adelaide), Max Rooke (Geelong), Brad Sewell (Hawthorn), Kade Simpson (Carlton), Adam Selwood (West Coast), Dale Thomas (Collingwood), Scott Thompson (Adelaide), Daniel Wells (North Melb).

First Test – Subiaco, Perth, Friday, October 24
Second Test – MCG, Melbourne, Friday, October 31.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

International Rules
Ireland pip Aussies in a thriller

Ireland 45
Australia 44

Ireland survived a fierce final-quarter comeback from Australia to post a thrilling 45-44 victory in the series opening International Rules clash at Subiaco Oval on a windy and stormy Friday night.

In front of 35,153 fans, Ireland looked to have the game sewn up when they shot out to a 17-point lead four minutes into the final quarter.

Five unanswered overs saw Australia claw to within one point of the visitors but it wasn't enough, with Ireland holding their nerve in the dying minutes to win 3.6.9 (45) to 0.12.8 (44).

Justin Chadwick reported in The Age: The match featured little biff but Hawthorn hardman Campbell Brown was given a yellow card in the final term for a ferocious hip-and-shoulder on Ireland's Finian Hanley.

Marc Murphy starred for Australia with four overs while Ireland captain Sean Cavanagh led with a goal and two overs – more ..

Australia v Ireland
Friday (n), October 24, 2008
Subiaco Oval, Perth
Crowd: 35,153
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
AUS 0.0.1–1 0.5.4–19 (–) 0.7.7–28 0.12.8–44
IRE 0.1.6–9 (8) 1.2.7–19 (–) 3.5.8–41 (13) 3.6.9–45 (1)
SCORERS – Ireland: Goals (6pts):  Leighton Glynn, Sean Cavanagh, Stephen McDonnell. Australia: nil. Overs: (3pts) Ireland: Sean Cavanagh 2, Paddy Bradley, Kieran Donaghy, Claren Lyng, Leighton Glynn. Australia: Marc Murphy 4, Matt Campbell 2, Scott Thompson 2, Brent Harvey, David Rodan, Michael Osborne, Leigh Montagna.
BEST: Ireland: Leighton Glynn, Sean Cavanagh, David Gallagher, Joe McMahon, Claran McKeever, Graham Canty, Finian Hanley. Australia: Marc Murphy, Adam Selwood, Brent Harvey, Kade Simpson, Dale Thomas, Michael Osborne.
UMPIRES: Stephen McBurney (Australia), Pat McEnaney (Ireland).
REPORT: Campbell Brown (Australia) yellow card.

Nathan Bock, Matthew Boyd, Jarred Brennan, Campbell Brown, Shaun Burgoyne, Matt Campbell, Ryan Crowley, Michael Firrito, Brent Harvey, Roger Hayden, Leigh Montagna, Daniel Motlop, Marc Murphy, Michael Osborne, Scott Pendlebury, Drew Petrie, David Rodan, Max Rooke, Adam Selwood, Brad Sewell, Kade Simpson, Dale Thomas, Scott Thompson, Daniel Wells,
Ireland: Paddy Bradley, Bernard Brogan, Sean Cavanagh, Graham Canty, Benny Coulter, Bryan Cullen, Kieran Donaghy, David Gallagher, Leighton Glynn, Finlan Hanley, John Keane, Aaron Kernan, Claran Lyng, Stephen McDonnell, Enda McGinley, Claran McKeever, Joe McMahon, Michael Meehan, John Miskella, Aidan O'Mahony, Tom Parsons, Kevin O'Reilly, Tommy Walsh, Killan Young.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

International Rules
AFL and GAA set dates for Tests in 2009

The AFL and the Gaelic Athletic Association have set dates next year for the International Rules Tests in Ireland – provided Friday night's game goes smoothly.

Yahoo! Sport reported: GAA president Nickey Brennan has again emphasised that the future of the concept would only be secure if there was not excessive physical aggression on the field.

Australian and Irish officials met in Melbourne on Wednesday ahead of Friday's series decider at the MCG.

They confirmed 2010 will be a year off and AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said the league might consider some form of State Of Origin to take the place of the international Tests.

The AFL and GAA plan to resume the series in 2011 in Australia and the following year in Ireland.

Brennan remains confident after last Friday's opening Test in Perth that the series has a future. It was called off last year and nearly cancelled for good after on-field violence during the 2005 and '06 games.

Ulster is likely to host the first Test next year on October 24, with the second game at Dublin's Croke Park on November 1.

Demetriou said the confirmation of a two-year cycle for the international rules meant the AFL might have their own exhibition games, such as State Of Origin in the "off" year.

This year, Victoria played a composite Dream Team in the AFL's Hall Of Fame tribute match.

The AFL are also likely to agree to two GAA proposals that will limit the AFL recruiting of young Irish players – an issue causing great concern in Ireland.

The AFL Commission is expected to approve the requests put forward by the GAA that the minimum recruiting age of Irish players raised to 19 and a quota system introduced for AFL clubs by early next year.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

International Rules
Ireland takes 2nd Test and series on aggregate

Ireland 57
Australia 53

Ireland on Friday night won the international rules series, and with it the Cormac McAnallen Cup, with a four-point win over Australia at the MCG.

Michael Gleeson reported in The Age: The Irish amateurs jubilantly hugged, jumped and chanted in scenes of joy reminiscent of those seen at the ground five weeks ago on grand final day. The Irish were too skilful with the round ball for the professional AFL players, winning 4.8.9–57 to 3.8.11–53.

Kade Simpson was awarded the Jim Stynes Medal as Australia's player of the tournament, while Graham Canty was Ireland's best for the series.

The game was alive to the final moments, courtesy of a final-quarter blitz from Drew Petrie, who kicked two overs early in the term before kicking an under into the back of the net to bring the margin to only four points with less than a minute to play. The Irish managed to hold on for victory.

The crowd of 42,823 who watched the match, played on a wet and blustery night, saw Australia concede the lead early, and, as in the first game in Perth last week, find the challenge of making a comeback too difficult.
 – more ..

Australia v Ireland
Friday (n), October 31, 2008
at Melbourne Cricket Ground
Crowd: 42,823
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
AUS 0.4.3–15 (3) 0.5.5–21 1.6.9–33 3.8.11–53
IRE 0.3.3–12 2.6.6–36 (15) 3.8.8–50 (17) 4.8.9–57 (4)
SCORERS – Ireland: Goals (6pts):  Benny Coulter 2, Enda McGinley 1, Kieran Donaghy 1. Overs: (3pts): Seán Cavanagh 4, Paddy Bradley 1, Benny Coulter 1,  Kieran Donaghy (1). Behinds (1pt): Steven McDonnell 4, Seán Cavanagh 2, Leighton Glynn 1, Enda McGinley 1.

Australia: Goals (6pts): Drew Petrie 1, Shaun Burgoyne 1, Marc Murphy 1.
Overs: (3pts): Ryan Crowley (2), Drew Petrie 2, Daniels Wells 3, Jared Brennan 1. Campbell Brown 1, Shaun Burgoyne 1, Ryan Crowley 1, Michael Osborne 1. Behinds (1pt): Brent Harvey (2), Daniel Motlop 2, Colm Begley 1, Drew Petrie 1, Daniel Wells 1.

BEST: Ireland: Graham Canty, Benny Coulter, Seán Cavanagh,  Leighton Glynn, Paddy Bradley. Australia: Ryan Crowley, Kade Simpson, Matthew Boyd, Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie.
UMPIRES: Stephen McBurney (Australia), Pat McEnaney (Ireland).

Graham Canty (Ireland).
Kade Simpson (Australia).


Michael Firrito; Roger Hayden, Nathan Bock, Campbell Brown; Ryan Crowley, Drew Petrie, Adam Selwood; Brent Harvey, Daniel Wells; Marc Murphy, Jared Brennan, David Rodan; Michael Osborne, Shaun Burgoyne, Matt Campbell.
Matthew Boyd, Nathan Foley, Josh Hunt, Leigh Montagna, Daniel Motlop, Scott Pendlebury, Brad Sewell, Kade Simpson, Dale Thomas.

David Gallagher; Aidan O'Mahony, Finian Hanley, John Keane; Bryan Cullen, Kevin Reilly, Ciarán McKeever; Graham Canty, Colm Begley; Enda McGinley, Seán Cavanagh, Joe McMahon; Steven McDonnell, Kieran Donaghy, Leighton Glynn.
Paddy Bradley, Benny Coulter, Aaron Kernan, Ciarán Lyng, Justin McMahon, Michael Meehan, John Miskella, Paul Finlay, Marty McGrath.

Martin Windsor-Black
Australia v Ireland, 1984-2008

The Overall Standings are now –
Series: Australia 7, Ireland 7
Tests: Australia 14, Ireland 16, Drawn 2
Scores: Australia 37.414.320-1784, Ireland 69.350.307-1771 

The away side has won 10 of the 14 series and 19 of the 32 tests.

Only one of the first nine series up to 2002 was won by the home side, Ireland in 1998.

Australia trail Ireland in Australia by 30 points
Ireland trail Australia in Ireland by 43 points

Ireland have scored more 'goals' (unders, 6 points) than Australia. The 2002 and 2003 series are the exceptions.

Australia's 27 'overs' (3 points) in the 2005 First Test in Perth smashed the previous record of 18 in a match set in 1984.

Australia have not scored more than 27 'overs' in a series since 2000.
The most 'overs' in a two Test series is 30 by Ireland in 2001 and 2004.

Ireland's score of 3.6-9-45 in the first test at Subiaco is the lowest ever winning score (Aus scored 0.12.8-44)

The four tests at the MCG have all been won by Ireland by a single digit margin : 

1999-T1: Aus 0.16.14-62 v Ire 2.16.10-70 - Ire by 8 pts

2001-T1: Aus 1.13.8-53 v Ire 2.13.8-59 - Ire by 6 pts

2003-T2: Aus 1.10.9-45 v Ire 2.9.9-48 - Ire by 3 pts

2008-T2: Aus 3.8.11-53 v Ire 4.8.9-57 - Ire by 4 pts  


Australia have scored 3 unders (6 points) just 4 times

1987-T2-CP   : Ire 3.6.11-47 v Aus 3.14.12-72 - Aus by 25 pts

2003-T1-S     : Aus 3.10.8-56 v Ire 1.10.10-46 - Aus by 10 pts

2006-T2-CP   : Ire 0.7.10-31 v Aus 3.15.6-36 - Aus by 38 pts - GWM

2008-T2-MCG: Aus 3.8.11-53 v Ire 4.8.9-57 - Ire by 4 pts  

(CP = Croke Park)


International Rules summary

In Australia
  P A I D 6 3 1 Pts   6 3 1 Pts


1986 3 1 2 2 31 37 142   12 23 33 174 Ire by 32
1990 3 1 2 0 30 29 119   3 33 26 143 Ire by 24
1999 2 1 1 2 28 18 114   3 27 23 122 Ire by 8
2001 2 2 2 26 15 105   4 30 16 130 Ire by 25
2003 2 1 1 4 20 17 101   3 19 19 94 Aus by 7
2005 2 2 2 45 16 163   3 22 22 106 Aus by 57
2008 2 2 3 20 19 97   7 14 18 102 Ire by 5


16 5 10 1 15 200 151 841   35 168 157 871 Ire by 30
In Ireland
  P A I D 6 3 1 Pts   6 3 1 Pts


1984 3 2 1 4 51 45 222   12 37 25 208 Aus by 14
1987 3 2 1 4 39 41 182   7 26 35 155 Aus by 27
1998 2 1 1 4 23 25 118   6 25 17 128 Ire by 10
2000 2 2 2 29 24 123   2 23 17 98 Aus by 25
2002 2 1 1 3 26 11 107   2 22 22 100 Aus by 7
2004 2 2 1 22 10 82   4 30 18 132 Ire by 50
2006 2 1 1 4 24 13 109   1 19 16 79 Aus by 30


16 9 6 1 22 214 169 943   34 182 150 900 Aus by 43


Series summary
  P A I 6 3 1 Pts   6 3 1 Pts
in Australia 7 2 5 15 200 151 841   35 168 157 871
in Ireland 7 5 2 22 214 169 943   34 182 150 900


14 7 7 37 414 320 1784   69 350 307 1771


Highest Scores
(100) 2.27.7 AUS 2005-1T v Ire 3.11.13 (64)
(80) 3.18.8 IRE 1984-2T v Aus 1.18.16 (76)
(77) 3.17.8 IRE 2004-1T v Aus 1.9.8 (41)
(76) 1.18-16 * AUS 1984-2T v Ire 3.18.8 (80)
(76) 1.18.16 AUS 1984-3T v Ire 5.11.8 (71)
(72) 3.14.12 AUS 1987-2T v Ire 3.6.11 (47)
(71) 5.11-8 IRE 1984-3T v Aus 1.18.16 (76)
(71) 2.17.8 IRE 2001-2T v Aus 1.13.7 (52)
(70) 2.15.13 AUS 1984-1T v Ire 4.8.9 (57)
(70) 2.16-10 IRE 1999-1T v Aus 0.16.14 (62)

* Highest Losing score

Lowest Scores
(31) 0.7.10 AUS 1990-2T v Ire 3.9.7 (52)
(31) 0.7.10 IRE 2006-2T v Aus 3.15.6 (69)
(32) 0.7.11 AUS 1986-3T v Ire 4.8.7 (55)
(38) 0.10.8 AUS 1990-1T v Ire 0.12.11 (47)
(40) 1.9.7 AUS 2006-1T v Ire 1.12.6 (48)
(41) 1.9.8 AUS 2004-1T v Ire 3.17.8 (77)
(41) 0.13.2 AUS 2004-2T v Ire 1.13.10 (55)
(42) 1.11.3 AUS 2002-2T v Ire 1.8.12 (42)
(42) 1.8.12 IRE 2002-2T v Aus 1.11.3 (42)
(42) 0.11.9 IRE 2005-2T v Aus 0.18.9 (63)
(44) 0.12.8 IRE 1990-3T v Aus 0.13.11 (50)
(44) 0.12.8 AUS 2008-1T v Ire 3.6.9 (45)
(45) 1.10.9 AUS 2003-2T v Ire 2.9.9 (48)
(45) 3.6.9 * IRE 2008-1T v Aus 0.12.8 (44)
(46) 1.10.10 AUS 1986-2T v Ire 3.10.14 (62)
(46) 1.10.10 IRE 2003-1T v Aus 3.10.8 (56)
(47) 3.6.11 IRE 1987-2T v Aus 3.14.12 (72)
(47) 0.12.11 IRE 1990-1T v Aus 0.10-8 (38)
(47) 1.11.8 IRE 2000-1T v Aus 0.14.13 (55)
(48) 2.9.9 IRE 2003-2T v Aus 1.10.9 (45)
(48) 1.12.6 IRE 2006-1T v Aus 1.9.7 (40)
(50) 0.13.11 AUS 1990-3T v Ire 0.12-8 (44)

* Lowest Winning score

Greatest Winning Margins
38pts 2006-2T Aus 3.15.6 (69) v Ire 0.7.10 (31)
36pts 2004-1T Ire 3.17.8 (77) v Aus 1.9.8 (41)
36pts 2005-1T Aus 2.27.7 (100) v Ire 3.11.13 (64)
25pts 1987-2T Aus 3.14.12 (72) v Ire 3.6-11 (47)
23pts 1986-3T Ire 4.8.7 (55) v Aus 0.7.11 (32)
21pts 1990-2T Ire 3.9.7 (52) v Aus 0.7.10 (31)
19pts 2001-2T Ire 2.17-8 (71) v Aus 1.13.7 (52)
17pts 2000-2T Aus 2.15.11 (68) v Ire 1.12.9 (51)
16pts 1986-2T Ire 3.10-14 (62) v Aus 1.10.10 (46)
14pts 2004-2T Ire 1.13.10 (55) v Aus 0.13.2 (41)
13pts 1984-1T Aus 2.15.13 (70) v Ire 4.8.9 (57)
11pts 1998-2T Ire 4.12.7 (67) v Aus 2.10.14 (56)
10pts 2003-1T Aus 3.10.8 (56) v Ire 1.10.10 (46)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

AFL and GAA put exchange games on hold
The AFL and the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) have put off the international rules series for a year, citing financial concerns.

Yahoo! Sport reports the Australians were due to tour Ireland at the end of the current AFL season, but they will now play two away Tests in October, 2010.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou and GAA director general Paraic Duffy had several discussions in the last week before making the decision.

"The current global situation has severely impacted on the sponsorship and support opportunities available for sporting organisations around the world and we needed to make a responsible decision and wait for 12 months," Demetriou said on Wednesday.

"Everybody, whether they are a sporting code, whether they are a multi-million dollar business or a multi-national, is very conscious of the fact that it is a time to be particularly prudent with expenditure.

"Like any other business we are prioritising what we spend our money on."

Demetriou said the AFL had committed to the 2010 tour.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

International rules

Squad of 22 players named for two Irish tests
Australian coach Mick Malthouse has named a squad of 22 including just four 2010 All-Australians for the two-Test International Rules series against Ireland.

Yahoo! Sport reports: Malthouse, who last week guided Collingwood to its first premiership in 20 years, will gather the national side in Melbourne on October 15 before departing for Ireland the following day. Matches will be played in Limerick on October 23 and in Dublin a week later.

Malthouse will rely heavily on his four 2010 All-Australians: Melbourne defender James Frawley, St Kilda wingman Leigh Montagna, Richmond's Coleman Medallist Jack Riewoldt and Collingwood's midfield star Dane Swan.

Four players are backing up from last week's grand final replay including Collingwood's Tyson Goldsack and St Kilda's Sam Gilbert.

Matthew Boyd, Adam Goodes, Brad Green, Dustin Fletcher, Kade Simpson and Montagna will also be expected to lead the way, having previously represented Australia at senior level against Ireland.

Fletcher, now 35, was captain of the Australian side on their victorious tour of Ireland in 2006 under coach Kevin Sheedy.

Australia squad: Todd Banfield (Brisbane), Eddie Betts (Carlton), Matthew Boyd (Western Bulldogs), Daniel Cross (Western Bulldogs), Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide), Paul Duffield (Fremantle), Dustin Fletcher (Essendon), James Frawley (Melbourne), Bryce Gibbs (Carlton), Sam Gilbert (St Kilda), Tyson Goldsack (Collingwood), Adam Goodes (Sydney), Brad Green (Melbourne), Garrick Ibbotson (Fremantle), Kieren Jack (Sydney), Jarrad McVeigh (Sydney), Leigh Montagna (St Kilda), Jack Riewoldt (Richmond), Kade Simpson (Carlton), Dane Swan (Collingwood), Travis Varcoe (Geelong), David Wojcinski (Geelong).

Saturday, October 16, 2010

International Rules

Adam Goodes to captain Australia

Dual Brownlow medallist Adam Goodes will lead the Australian side travelling to Ireland for a two-test International Rules series later this month.

The Sydney Swans co-captain, who represented Australia when Ireland toured down under in 2001, will be joined by vice-captains Dane Swan (Collingwood), Matthew Boyd (Western Bulldogs) and Kade Simpson (Carlton) under coach Mick Malthouse.

The 23-man Australian squad convened at Arden Street on Friday for a training session with the round ball, ahead of a flight to Cork on Saturday evening.

The first test will be played Limerick next Saturday, with the deciding test in Dublin on October 30 – Sportal

Monday, October 18, 2010

International Rules

Limerick – home of the First Test
Leonard Colquhoun has noted several interesting facts of where the first Test against Ireland on this series will be played.

The Gaelic Grounds or Páirc na nGael, home to the Limerick (Luimneach) hurling & football teams, is the principal Gaelic Athletic Association stadium in Limerick City, County Limerick, in the south-western province of Munster (an Mhumhain).

Limerick's "new grounds" opened in 1928, and by the 1950s were attracting crowds of up to 50,000. In 1958, the Old Hogan Stand from Dublin's Croke Park was re-erected at Páirc na nGael, and in 1961 a record paid attendance of 61,174 witnessed the Cork v Tipperary Munster hurling final, with another 10,000 free-loaders piling in after the gates were broken down (as happened in the 1956 VFL last non-ticketed Grand Final, and at VFL Park Waverley for the ground record of 92,935 in 1981-R11).

In 1979 a major decision was taken to update the Gaelic Grounds completely. Improvements in 1988 & 2004 rejuvenated the stadium, giving it its current capacity of 49,500, with more & improved seating, and health & safety regulations more stringently enforced – as in our AFL grounds – reducing venue capacity.

It is the venue for the First Test on Saturday 23 October in the 2010 International Rules Series, only the second match in the current series, after Pearse Stadium in Galway (1st Test, 2006), to be played other than Croke Park, Dublin.

For a look at the stadium –

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Worth attention ...
Things get tighter in Limerick
Daryl Timms
reports in Melbourne's Herald Sun that Australian coach Mick Malthouse has no concerns with the surprisingly shorter Limerick ground which his players discovered at yesterday's training session before Saturday night's (Irish time) first Test of the International Rules Series against Ireland.

The ground is supposed to be 140m but the goal posts at each end have been brought in 7.5m, making the ground 15m shorter than the stipulated length.

Although the shorter ground (125m) has been suggested as a ploy by the Irish to keep more pressure on Australian goalkeeper Dustin Fletcher, Malthouse wasn't concerned when he fronted a large media contingent yesterday with Ireland coach Anthony Tohill.

"We hardly ever worry about length or width of grounds in our competition" Malthouse said.

"It would be different if you had something that was structured, set, and that's what it's got to be. As we know in Australian rules football, there's been no consistency whatsoever with any ground" – more ...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

International Rules

Adam Goodes leads Australia to seven-point win

Captain Adam Goodes led Australia to a five-point victory over Ireland in the opening match of the two-game International Rules series at Limerick on Saturday night (Sunday morning Australian time).

Goodes scored four overs as his side held on against a fast-finishing Irish side, winning 0.14.5–47 to 1.8.10–40 in front of a crowd of more than 30,000.

The Australians dominated and led by 18 points in the final term before Bernard Brogan sparked his side on a cool, clear evening.

Mick Malthouse's men are on goodwill mission this year after the physical treatment dished out by the Australians during the 2006 series in Ireland almost buried the hybrid rules concept.

The tourists started the match tentatively before steadily finding their way with Goodes opening the scoring for his side with an over in the fifth minute.

The Australians skipped out to a 12-5 lead before the Irish reduced the margin to three points at the first break.

In a tight third quarter, Australia busted the game open with three overs in two minutes with Leigh Montagna sparking and finishing the run.

Australia stretched their lead out to 13 points before taking a 10-point edge into the final term.

Australia appeared to be skipping clear in the final term when Goodes' attempt to punch through a goal ended up hitting the bar for his third over.

The skipper chipped over his fourth shortly afterwards before Brogan brought the home side to life with a fine running goal with just over five minutes to go.

The home side pressed hard but simply ran out of time.

Australian starting line-up from the back, comprising goalkeeper, backs, half backs, centres, half forwards and full forwards –

Dustin Fletcher, Paul Duffield, James Frawley, Kade Simpson, Bryce Gibbs, Garrick Ibbotson, Tyson Goldsack, Matthew Boyd, Dane Swan, Liam Picken, Adam Goodes, Jarrad McVeigh, Eddie Betts, Jack Riewoldt, Brad Green.
Interchange – Todd Banfield, Daniel Cross, Patrick Dangerfield, Sam Gilbert, Kieren Jack, Leigh Montagna, Travis Varcoe, David Wojcinski.

Ireland v Australia
Saturday (n), October 23, 2010
Páirc na nGael, Luimneach (Gaelic Grounds, Limerick)
Crowd: 30,117
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
IRE 0.2.3–9 0.3.7–16 0.5.7–22 1.8.10–40
AUS 0.4.0–12 (3) 0.7.0–21 (5) 0.10.2–32 (10) 0.14.5–47 (7)
SCORERS – Australia: Adam Goodes 12 (0-4-0), James Frawley 3 (0-1-0), Todd Banfield 6 (0-2-0), Daniel Cross 6 (0-2-0), Eddie Betts 6 (0-2-0), Matthew Boyd 1 (0-0-1), Montagna 6 (0-2-0), Kade Simpson 2 (0-0-2), Patrick Dangerfield 3 (0-1-0), Kieren Jack 1 (0-0-1). Ireland: Stephen Cluxton 1 (0-0-1) Kevin Reilly 1 (0-0-1), Bernard Brogan 9 (1-1-0), James Cavanagh 6 (1-0-3), Steven McDonnell 8 (0-2-2), Tadhg Kennelly 1 (0-0-1), Martin Clarke 1 (0-0-1), Daniel Goulding 3 (0-1-0), Tommy Walsh 4 (0-1-1), Kevin McKernan 3 (0-1-0), Ciarán McKeever 1 (0-1-0), Leighton Glynn 3 (0-1-0).
BEST: Australia: Adam Goodes, Matthew Boyd, Daniel Cross, Dane Swan, Paul Duffield, Todd Banfield, Garrick Ibbotson, Liam Picken.
Ireland: Seán Cavanagh, Colm Begley, Steven McDonnell, Stephen Cluxton, Tadhg Kennelly, Bernard Brogan.
UMPIRES: David Coldrick (Ireland), Brett Rosebury (Australia).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

International Rules

Second Test set for Croke Park on Saturday
Leonard Colquhoun turns his attention to Dublin and the famous Croke Park venue where the Second Test of the current Ireland-Australia series will be played on Saturday.

Croke Park (Páirc an Chrócaigh), in the Irish Republic’s capital of Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath), is the nation’s principal stadium – analogous to our MCG – and the HQ of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), Ireland's biggest sporting organisation. The stadium is in the heart of the city, a 15 minute walk from the main thoroughfare of O'Connell Street (Sráid Uí Chonaill). Since 1884 the site has been used primarily by the GAA to host Gaelic games, most notably the annual football and hurling finals, with a venue record attendance of 90,556 at the 1961 All-Ireland Football Final. The site (rather ironically once a home ground for a local soccer club) was bought by the GAA in 1913 and named for prominent early GAA patron Thomas Croke, the 1875-1902 Archbishop of Cashel (in the SW province of Munster, which includes Limerick, a stronghold for Irish nationalism).

As with sports stadia in Australia, Croke Park’s capacity has been reduced with seating replacing standing areas, and by stricter enforcement of more stringent H&S regulations; redevelopment 1995-2005 capped it at 82,300. Recent GAA records include 82,289 for the 2006 All-Ireland Football Final; 82,127 for the 2006 International Rules 2nd Test; and 82,106 for the 2009 All-Ireland Hurling Final. (Think of hurling as hockey with many more cojones.)

Two other recent records, highly significant for historical reasons, are 83,000 for a 2007 Ireland v England rugby union international, and 74,103 at a soccer qualifier before the recent FIFA World Cup, because these ‘garrison games’ were universally banned from GAA venues as the games-of-choice for pre-independence British military, police and other imperial officials, and were later seen to be inimical to Ireland’s view of its national identity.

This animosity was especially strengthened by the Croke Park massacre on 21 November 1920, during the Irish War of Independence (Jan 1919 to June 1921), when police from the Royal Irish Constabulary entered the ground during a Dublin v Tipperary GAA football match, shooting indiscriminately into the crowd and killing or fatally wounding 12, including Tipperary's captain, Michael Hogan; the 1924 [old] Hogan Stand – now at last week’s IR venue in Limerick – was named in his honour. These shootings were a reprisal for the assassination of 14 British undercover officers earlier that day.

Until the early 1970s, rule 42 prohibited the use of GAA property for games with interests in conflict with the interests of the GAA, including ‘garrison games’. In 2005, a motion to temporarily relax rule 42 was passed at the GAA Annual Congress, 227 to 97, eleven votes more than the required two-thirds majority.

So the 2007 Ireland v England RU match was politically symbolic: there was considerable anxiety as to what the reaction would be to ‘God Save the Queen’. Ultimately the royal anthem was sung without interruption or incident, and applauded by both sets of supporters at the match – a message perhaps for some of our own long-distance Irish.
And, as we’ve all been told a thousand times, Green is Good -

Why was the FIFA soccer crowd only 74,103, about 9,000 below capacity? The reason – FIFA bans the use of standing areas in venues to forestall outbreaks of ‘soccer hooligan’ violence.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

International Rules

GAA is not just about football
Leonard Colquhoun brings attention that If you reckoned that Ireland’s Gaelic Athletic Association – whose initials are on the left-hand side of the IR logo – was about a quarter the equivalent of our AFL, then you’d be about a quarter right. The GAA is not just about (a code of) football, it’s not just about Gaelic football & hurling – in the words of that bloke talking of ‘football’ and ‘life’: it’s much more important than that, and that makes the GAA close to unique in the world.

The Gaelic Athletic Association (Cumann Lúthchleas Gael~) is an amateur sporting & cultural organisation focused primarily on promoting Gaelic games, which include the traditional Irish sports of hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, handball^ and rounders. The GAA also promotes Irish music & dance, and the Irish language, a broad range of the sorts of activities which the AFL has neither interest in nor remit for.

Gaelic football & hurling are the most popular GAA sports, and the most highly attended sports in Ireland; interestingly, Gaelic football, despite the heavy cultural influence of soccer and rugby from the British mainland, is also the largest participation sport in the continuing UK province of Northern Ireland.

Michael Cusack, a Dublin civil servant troubled by falling standards in traditional Irish games and by the growing influence of the ‘garrison games’ (> Footystats Tues 26 Oct 2010), founded the “Gaelic Athletic Association for the Cultivation and Preservation of National Pastimes” on 1st November 1884, and within a few weeks Munster Archbishop Thomas Croke became its first patron, introducing the rules which forbade members of the GAA from playing "foreign and fantastic games" such as tennis, cricket, polo, and croquet.

Over the next few years the GAA’s informal arrangements evolved into county & province* competitions for the new All-Ireland championships in Gaelic football & hurling, and it codified the rules for Gaelic sports. At first, most of its members were rural labourers, small farmers, barmen or shop assistants, but from 1900 the GAA attracted clerks, school teachers or civil servants, strongly influenced by the Gaelic League (Conradh na Gaeilge), which was founded in Dublin in 1893 by Douglas Hyde, the son – rather ironically – of a Church of Ireland (= Anglican) cleric.

Both organisations, being leaders in the renaissance of Gaelic Ireland, were naturally attracted to the strengthening nationalist movement towards Home Rule (self-government within the Empire), if not complete independence. GAA clubs became centres for nationalism and of resistance to British rule, particularly after the 1916 Easter Rising & its aftermath, and during the War of Independence, leading inexorably to the Croke Park Massacre (>Footystats Tues 26 Oct 2010).

Reminder: the GAA is an amateur organisation – our opponents have to get up on Mondays and go to work, real work.

So, much, much more than an 'Irish AFL’ – more a fighter for & preserver of, and now custodian & guardian of national culture in the broader sense. Footystats readers will easily see why the Irish don’t have to put up with the sorts of cultural cringers who diss their games of their own, nor have to defend their code of football from attacks from fellow citizens spruiking for foreign codes.

Based on –  (and links)

From the GAA website –  

(~) the Gaelic language versions of place names & other items; the one clear failure of the 19th century Gaelic revival was in the language area – Irish Gaelic is the first language now for only about 30,000 in an island-of-Ireland population of 6,220,000, although 1,800,000 claim to “have some knowledge of it”. (The written language, says Wikipedia, looks rather daunting to those unfamiliar with it, but once understood, the spelling is relatively straightforward - yeah, and it probably says the same about Polish.)

^ anyone who had contact with Christian Brothers schools in the 20th century will know what sport is meant (and, p’raps, how ‘six of the best’ helped develop skill in this game).

* (a) province: there are four, clockwise from the south-west: Munster (where last week's 1st Test was played), Connaught, Ulster & Leinster (which includes Dublin); (b) county: there are 32, unevenly spread among the provinces, with six of the nine Ulster counties in the UK province of Northern Ireland.


Friday, October 29, 2010

International Rules

AFL want Malthouse to stay on as Aussie coach
Australia will meet Ireland in another international Rules series next October, with the competition to then be played for two of every three years and the AFL keen for Mick Malthouse to continue as coach.

Reporting from Dublin for The Age, Emma Quayle notes AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said that while the League had not approached Malthouse about extending his contract it was ''seriously considering'' asking him to stay on given his enthusiasm for the hybrid game – more ...

Back to the Diary


Monday, October 17, 2011

International Rules, Australia v Ireland

Ireland names 18 touring players; five to be added
Stephen Cluxton has been chosen to captain the Gaelic Athletic-Ireland team for the upcoming International Rules Series. Two Tests are scheduled, the First at Docklands on Friday, October 28, and the Second a week later on the Gold Coast at Carrara on Friday, November 4.

Five other players will be added to the travelling panel,

Anthony Tohill's decision as IR manager to appoint Cluxton as captain makes him the first Ireland International Rules skipper from Dublin since John O'Leary in 1987.

Said Tohill: "The strong interest shown amongst players demonstrates the enthusiasm for the game and the importance players place on representing their country."

Tohill will have the backing of selectors Eoin 'Bomber' Liston, Kevin O'Brien, Séan Óg de Paor and Kieran McGeeney as Ireland look to reclaim the Cormac McAnallen Cup.

Ireland International Rules Squad:
Captain: Stephen Cluxton (Dublin),
Ciarán McKeever (Armagh), 
Emmet Bolton (Kildare), Eoin Cadogan (Cork), Kieran Donaghy (Kerry), Leighton Glynn (Wicklow), Finian Hanley (Galway), Pearse Hanley (Mayo+Brisbane Lions), Darren Hughes (Monaghan), Tadgh Kennelly (Kerry+Sydney Swans), Steven McDonnell (Armagh), Kevin McKernan (Down), Joe McMahon (Tyrone), Neil McGee (Donegal), Michael Murphy (Donegal), Darran O'Sullivan (Kerry), Kevin Reilly (Meath), Aidan Walsh (Cork) .

The team will depart for Australia next Saturday, October 22.

True to form, Cluxton will not engage with media

The Irish Independent
noted IR manager Anthony Tohill confirmed that Stephen Cluxton, true to form, will not conduct any formal speaking engagements in his capacity as team captain on the forthcoming tour to Australia.

Cluxton, who has a strict policy of not engaging with the media, will forego involvement in the pre and post-match press conferences that are obligatory as part of the agreement between the GAA and AFL.

In explaining the decision to appoint Cluxton as captain, Tohill said he respected the player's right "as an amateur" to deal with the media in whatever way he chooses. Tohill revealed that there was "no reluctance" on Cluxton's behalf to accept the honour of captaining his country over the weekend when it was offered to him.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

International Rules series
Australia name squad for series against Ireland
Coach Rodney Eade on Friday named his squad for the two-Test International Rules Series against Ireland, with James Kelly and Stephen Milne the only current All Australians picked.

Sportal notes: With the teams set to clash at Docklands Stadium on October 28 and then again a week later at Gold Coast's Carrara Stadium, Eade has named a 24-man squad stacked with fleet-footed players.

Australian IR squad:
Richard Douglas (Adelaide), James Frawley (Melbourne), Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide), Brad Green (Melbourne), Shaun Grigg (Richmond), James Kelly (Geelong), Jake King (Richmond), Ben McGlynn (Sydney), Trent McKenzie (Gold Coast), Stephen Milne (St Kilda), Angus Monfries (Essendon), Robin Nahas (Richmond), Mark Nicoski (West Coast), Mitch Robinson (Carlton), Liam Shiels (Hawthorn), Zac Smith (Gold Coast), Matthew Suckling (Hawthorn), Andrew Swallow (North Melbourne), Colin Sylvia (Melbourne), Jack Trengove (Melbourne), Bernie Vince (Adelaide), Callan Ward (GWS), David Wojcinski (Geelong), Easton Wood (Western Bulldogs)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

International Rules, Australia v Ireland
Ireland adds five players; Cluxton's dilemma
The touring squad from Ireland has added five players – Colm Begley, the former Brisbane half-back, Zach Tuohy (Carlton+ County Laios), Tommy Walsh (Sydney+County Kerry) as well as Brendan Murphy (County Carlow) and Eamon Callaghan (County Kildare).

A local issue may determine what the appointed Ireland captain will do. Steve Cluxton is County Dublin goalkeeper and played a leading role in Dublin's victory over County Kerry in the All-Ireland Final.

The AFL webpage notes Cluxton's dilemma is whether to make the trip to Australia or remain home to play with his club, Parnells, as it tries to win the County Dublin club competition.

To win a county club championship is a prestigious feat in Gaelic football. Club finals are played after the completion of the inter-county competition in September.

Cluxton has already received a dispensation to remain home while the Irish squad makes it way to Australia on Friday. He will play with Parnells in a quarter-final of the county club championship against Ballymun-Kickhams on Saturday.

If Parnells loses, Cluxton will fly out to join the Irish squad in Australia on Sunday. If Parnells wins, Cluxton must decide between club or country.

Friday, October 21, 2011

International Rules, Australia v Ireland
Irish squad suffer more withdrawals
At least two of the three players nominated for Ireland's Gaelic Footballer of the Year award to be named tonight will skip the upcoming International Rules tour of Australia.

The third, Irish captain Stephen Cluxton, might also pull out, due to club commitments, and will refuse to speak to media if he does come.

Sam Lienert of Yahoo! Sport explains Kerry forward Darran O'Sullivan was the latest to withdraw from the squad for the two-Tests, to be played at Docklands on October 28 and Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast a week later.

O'Sullivan, will instead play for Mid Kerry in his county club championship.

Another nominee for GAA's Footballer of the Year is Dublin's Alan Brogan, who had already declared himself unavailable for Ireland's touring squad because of club commitments.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sylvia stood down after Sunday car accident
ABC Sport reports Melbourne player Colin Sylvia has been dumped from the Australian squad for the upcoming International Rules series against Ireland after being involved in a car accident on Sunday.

Sylvia allegedly left the scene of an accident in Melbourne after his BMW, in which he says he was the passenger, hit a power pole on Kingsway in South Melbourne at 6.15am on Sunday morning.

Sylvia, who left the scene, was later interviewed by police but was not charged.

The AFL issued a statement later on Sunday advising that the 25-year-old Demons midfielder has been stood down from the team.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Brad Green to skipper Aussies against Ireland
Australian coach Rodney Eade on Tuesday named Melbourne skipper Brad Green to lead the national side in the International Rules Series against Ireland.

The series kicks off at Docklands Stadium on Friday night followed by the second and final match on the Gold Coast at Carrara on November 4.

Green, 30, is one of only four players in Australia's 23-man squad with Test experience.

The 184cm forward endured a mixed season with Melbourne in 2011, kicking 37 goals in 21 matches in his debut year as captain of the Demons.

Andrew Swallow, James Kelly and James Frawley will be the vice-captains.

Australia are defending champions following their 2-0 series victory last year in Ireland.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

International Rules: First Test
Ireland thrash Australia by record 44 points
Australia suffered a record 44-point loss to Ireland in Friday's International Rules Series opener which threatened at one stage to erupt into an all-in brawl.

Ireland won 4.17.5 (80) to Australia's 1.8.6 (36) at Docklands on Friday night before a modest crowd of 22,921.

ABC Sport reported tensions were high in the third term when Australia's Mitch Robinson collided heavily with Ireland's Emmet Bolton, who was carried off the field on a stretcher.

Players from both sides gathered in the middle of the field while Bolton was being assessed by medical staff, as a verbal slanging match turned into an angry push-and-shove affair involving over 20 players.

Ireland's Kevin Reilly was called out by the umpires for what appeared to be a caution, but no players were sent off the field.

Both camps had stressed before the match the importance of avoiding a repeat of the brawling which marred the 2006 series and led to Ireland cancelling the 2007 series.

Friday night's game was a triumph for Tommy Walsh, the Irishman who could not get a game for St Kilda in the AFL this year and has crossed to Sydney for next season.

Walsh kicked three three-point "overs" and was a dominant presence for Ireland, which showed great tenacity in its tackling style given it was a major adjustment for the tourists from the Gaelic game which does not involve tackling.

Two of Ireland's players with AFL experience, Tadhg Kennelly and Pearce Hanley, were also strong contributors while Bernie Vince and James Kelly were among the major ball-winners for Australia.
Australia v Ireland
Friday (n), October 28, 2011
at Docklands Stadium (roof closed)
Crowd: 22,921
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
AUS 0.1-1–4 1.4.2–20 1.5.5–26 1.8.6–36
IRE 1.5.1–22 (18) 2.9.5–44 (24) 2.14.5–59 (33) 4.17.5–80 (44)
SCORERS – Ireland: Goals (6pts):  Michael Murphy 1, Leighton Glynn 1, Eamon Callaghan 1, Steven McDonnell 1. Overs: (3pts): Steven McDonnell 4, Tommy Walsh 3, Kieran Donaghy 2, Kevin McKernan 2, Michael Murphy 2, Leighton Glynn 2, Tadhg Kennelly 1, Brendan Murphy 1.

Australia: Goals (6pts): Brad Green 1.
Overs: (3pts): Stephen Milne 2, Richard Douglas 1, Robin Nahas 1, Mitch Robinson 1, Robbie Gray 1, Angus Monfries 1, Brad Green 1.

BEST: Ireland: Steven McDonnell, Stephen Cluxton, Finian Hanley, Kieran Donaghy, Tommy Walsh, Tadhg Kennelly. Australia: Stephen Milne, Bernie Vince, Richard Douglas, James Kelly, Brad Green.

UMPIRES: Ray Chamberlain (Australia), David Coldrick (Ireland).

Ireland: Stephen Cluxton (Dublin), Leighton Glynn (Wicklow), Brendan Murphy (Carlow), Colm Begley (Laois), Kevin Reilly (Meath), Neil McGee (Donegal), Michael Murphy (Donegal), Steven McDonnell (Armagh), Ciarán McKeever (Armagh), Kevin McKernan (Down), Joe McMahon (Tyrone), Darren Hughes (Monaghan), Finian Hanley (Galway), Eoin Cadogan (Cork), Aidan Walsh (Cork), Patrick Kelly (Cork), Eamon Callaghan (Kildare), Kieran Donaghy (Kerry), Tommy Walsh (Kerry/St Kilda), Zach Touhy (Laois/Carlton), Tadhg Kennelly (Kerry/Sydney Swans), Pearse Hanley (Mayo/Brisbane Lions), Emmet Bolton (Kildare).

Australia: Richard Douglas (Adelaide), James Frawley (Melbourne), Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide), Brad Green (Melbourne), Shaun Grigg (Richmond), James Kelly (Geelong), Jake King (Richmond), Ben McGlynn (Sydney), Trent McKenzie (Gold Coast), Stephen Milne (St Kilda), Angus Monfries (Essendon), Robin Nahas (Richmond), Mark Nicoski (West Coast), Mitch Robinson (Carlton), Liam Shiels (Hawthorn), Zac Smith (Gold Coast), Matthew Suckling (Hawthorn), Andrew Swallow (North Melbourne), Jack Trengove (Melbourne), Bernie Vince (Adelaide), Callan Ward (GWS), David Wojcinski (Geelong), Easton Wood (Western Bulldogs).

Demons suspend and fine Colin Sylvia
The Melbourne club have suspended wayward star Colin Sylvia, fined him $5000 and ordered him to undergo alcohol counselling after he left the scene of a car accident on Sunday.

Yahoo! Sport reports Sylvia will miss next year's round one clash with Brisbane after the Demons found he had exercised "poor judgment" in drinking the night before training with the Australian International Rules side, failing to report an accident, in which he was a passenger in his own car, and leaving the scene.

The club said previous alcohol-fuelled indiscretions had also been taken into account in meting out the punishment.

It also considered the fact Sylvia had already been dropped from the International Rules side playing a two-match series against Ireland.

The drama was a first test for new Demons coach Mark Neeld, who has made a statement in coming down hard on Sylvia, who was warned previously by the team's leadership group after a night out in March.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

International Rules: Second Test
GAA hoping for better turn out on Gold Coast
A senior Gaelic Athletic Association official, director general Paraic Duffy, has warned the AFL that Australian fans' apathy could bring the curtain down on the International Rules series forever after Friday's second Test on the Gold Coast.

Ahmer Khokhar for The Age reports Duffy admitted he was "disappointed" by last week's crowd of 22,291 at Docklands, down almost 50 per cent on the attendance attracted at the same venue in 2008. In the one-sided match, Ireland crushed an understrength Australian line-up by 44 points.

The GAA's main concern is that poor attendances in Australia could have a knock-on effect in Ireland, making the two Test series in 2013-14 unaffordable for Irish fans enduring a deep economic recession and 14 per cent unemployment rate – more ...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

International Rules – Second Test

Ireland clinch series with 50-29 win at Carrara
With no chance of winning the International Rules series, Australia tried to win the fight in an ugly 1.13.5–50 to 0.7.8–29 loss to Ireland at Carrara on the Gold Coast on Friday night before a disappointing crowd of just 12,545.

Laine Clark for Yahoo! Sport reported: Needing to win by 45 points to claim the series trophy after their opening game capitulation last week, Australia opted to play the aggression card – only to be met by a lot of yellow ones.

At one stage it appeared a game of International Rules had broken out at a scuffle as Australia racked up more yellow cards in the third term (three) than they scored points (one).

In all, a total of six players received the yellow vest on the way to the sin bin – including five in a spiteful third term alone.

Ireland led at the first break by just four points but extended the buffer to 1.8.4 (34) to 0.6.5 (23) by halftime before all hell broke loose in the third.

At one stage an all-in brawl threatened to erupt as Irish players reacted angrily to late shots by Australians that left Joe McMahon in a crumpled heap.

When the dust settled Australia's Angus Monfries, Mark Nicoski, Robbie Gray were all yellow-carded while Ireland's Finian Hanley and vice-captain Ciaran McKeever were also given their marching orders.

Ireland's Michael Murphy had been sin binned late in the second term.

Ireland avenged their 0-2 series loss last year in spectacular style, winning not only the trophy but also with a 65-point superior aggregate.

For Ireland, Tommy Walsh and Steven McDonnell kicked three overs while Australia's Zac Smith also kicked three.

The Jim Stynes Medal for best Australian player of the series went to Geelong's James Kelly while ex-Sydney veteran Tadhg Kennelly was named best of the Irish after the two game romp over the hosts.
Australia v Ireland
Friday (n), November 4, 2011
at Carrara Oval, Gold Coast
Crowd: 12,545
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
AUS 0.2.2–8 0.6.5–23 0.6.6–24 0.7.8–29
IRE 0.3-3–12 (4) 1.8.4–34 (11) 1.10.5–41 (17) 1.13.5–50 (21)
SCORERS – Ireland: Goals (6pts):  Leighton Glynn 1, Overs (3pts): Steven McDonnell 3, Tommy Walsh 3, Kieran Donaghy 2, Michael Murphy 2, Tadhg Kennelly 1, Joe McMahon 1, Eamon Callaghan 1.
Australia: Goals (6pts): nil.
Overs: (3pts): Zac Smith 3, Brad Green 2, Mitch Robinson 1, Ben McGlynn 1.

BEST: Ireland: Tommy Walsh, Colm Begley, Tadhg Kennelly, Steven McDonnell, Stephen Cluxton. Australia: James Kelly, James Frawley, Zac Smith, Bernie Vince.

David Coldrick (Ireland), Ray Chamberlain (Australia).

Australia: Richard Douglas (Adelaide Crows), James Frawley (Melbourne), Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide), Brad Green (Melbourne), Shaun Grigg (Richmond), James Kelly (Geelong), Jake King (Richmond), Ben McGlynn (Sydney), Trent McKenzie (Gold Coast), Stephen Milne (St Kilda), Angus Monfries (Essendon), Robin Nahas (Richmond), Mark Nicoski (West Coast), Mitch Robinson (Carlton), Liam Shiels (Hawthorn), Zac Smith (Gold Coast), Matthew Suckling (Hawthorn), Andrew Swallow (North Melbourne), Jack Trengove (Melbourne), Bernie Vince (Adelaide), Callan Ward (GWS Giants), David Wojcinski (Geelong), Easton Wood (Western Bulldogs).

Ireland: Stephen Cluxton (Dublin), Leighton Glynn (Wicklow), Brendan Murphy (Carlow), Colm Begley (Laois), Kevin Reilly (Meath), Neil McGee (Donegal), Michael Murphy (Donegal), Steven McDonnell (Armagh), Ciarán McKeever (Armagh), Kevin McKernan (Down), Joe McMahon (Tyrone), Darren Hughes (Monaghan), Finian Hanley (Galway), Eoin Cadogan (Cork), Aidan Walsh (Cork), Patrick Kelly (Cork), Eamon Callaghan (Kildare), Kieran Donaghy (Kerry), Tommy Walsh (Kerry+St Kilda), Zach Touhy (Laois+Carlton), Tadhg Kennelly (Kerry+Sydney Swans), Pearse Hanley (Mayo+Brisbane Lions), Emmet Bolton (Kildare).

Ireland won the series 2-0 to reclaim the Cormac McAnallen Cup.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

International Rules: Australia v Ireland

Series will continue in 2013 and 2014

Doubts about its future surfaced this week, arising from the disappointing attendance (22,921) at the first Test in Melbourne. It was even worse in at Carrara on the Gold Coast on Friday night, where the official attendance was given as 12,545, although, frankly, it looked smaller.

The Irish Independent reported in Dublin on Saturday that despite the collapse in attendances, the AFL is anxious to continue with the series. Following a meeting on Friday between GAA director general Paraic Duffy and his AFL counterpart Andrew Demetriou, it was confirmed that the Australians would definitely travel to Ireland in 2013, with Ireland heading Down Under in 2014.

The Australians accepted that they got a number of things wrong this year, including playing the first, rather than the second Test in Melbourne, while also failing to line up enough big names for the squad.

"He (Demetriou) said the AFL are absolutely committed to the series and I accept his word. The proposal is to have another two-year cycle in 2013-14, after which it will be reviewed," said Duffy.

He said the Australians remained convinced they can revive interest in the series, while he believes that the Irish public will continue to support the hybrid game when it next comes to Ireland in two years' time.

Worth repeating
International rules doesn't pay, OK!
AFL players morphed into amateurs to represent their country against Ireland.

No one received match payments for the two Tests in the International Rules series.

Instead, players line up for the love of the guernsey and a daily expense allowance.

Not only are the players giving up holiday time to play, but there is no financial reward of note either for a two-week commitment to the national team.

More marquee players are likely to travel to Ireland for the next series in 2013, given the nature of the trip, but Australia was desparately light on for stars in its recent series loss.

There has been no call for players to be paid at this stage out of respect to the amateur Irish players and the honour of representing Australia.

MARK STEVENS, Melbourne's Herald Sun, November 10, 2011

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 Sunday, October 20, 2013

International Rules, Ireland v Australia
Irish squad
apply too much pressure

Coach Michael O'Loughlin blasted his Indigenous All Stars for failing to apply pressure on the Irish in the first International Rules Test which the hosts won easily 57-35 on Saturday night before a crowd of 17,657 at Breffni Park at Cavan.

Julian Drape for Yahoo! Sport reported Australia were outclassed in the first half trailing 17-4 at quarter-time and 28-9 at the main break.

Former Sydney Swans star O'Loughlin fired up the all-indigenous team at halftime and Steven Motlop – one of the All Stars' best – should have closed the margin to five points early in the final quarter.

But, he booted the round ball into the open goal's crossbar from a few metres out and momentum swung back to Ireland.

O'Loughlin said the Irish players had steeled themselves for a hard-fought contest for the Corman McAnnallen trophy test and applied constant pressure.

"We were simply beaten at our own game. When that happens, blokes panic and make mistakes."

The Australian team at times were confused by the compromise rules taking more than the allowed two bounces or chasing balls to the boundary when leaving it would have resulted in an All Stars possession.

Captain Daniel Wells said at half-time the coach asked the team to slow play down which helped Australia get back in the match.

Ireland's Zach Tuohy scored the first six-point goal at the 11-minute mark of the third quarter but, a few minutes later, Jake Neade found the net for the All Stars.

That was followed by overs from Lewis Jetta and Alwyn Davey to get Australia within 12 at the final break.

"I thought it was a great fight-back," Wells told reporters.

"It was Motey who missed it (the open goal) but his effort tonight was really good. He's a man with many tricks but that's the way he plays."

Looking to Saturday's Croke Park fixture, the reigning North Melbourne best-and-fairest said: "we need to respond".

"Every man is going to be judged on how they play.".

Ireland manager Paul Earley was pleased but not prepared to say the hosts had the series in the bag despite the 2-12-9 to 1-7-8 scoreline.

Ireland v Australia
Saturday (n), October 19, 2013
at Breffni Park, Cavan
Crowd: 17,657
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
IRE 0.5.2–17 0.8.4–28 (19) 1.9.6-39 (12) 2.12.9–57 (22)
AUST 0.1.1–4 0.2.3–9 1.5.6–27 1.7.8–35
SCORERS – Ireland: Goals (6pts): Zach Tuohy 1, Kevin McLoughlin 1.
Overs (3pts):
Michael Murphy 2, Ross Munnelly 2, Colm Begley 1, Aidan O'Shea 1, Ciaran Byrne 1,
Seán Cavanagh 1, Paul Flynn 1, Ciarán Sheehan 1, Colm Boyle 1, Conor McManus 1.

Australia: Goals (6pts):
Jake Neade. Overs (3pts):
Steven Motlop 2, Lance Franklin 1, Lewis Jetta 1, Alwyn Davey 1, Mathew Stokes 1, Leroy Jetta 1.

BEST – Ireland: Zach Tuohy, Jack McCaffrey, Michael Murphy, Finian Hanley, Conor McManus, Ross Munnelly.
Australia: Steven Motlop, Ash McGrath, Daniel Wells, Mathew Stokes, Lance Franklin, Eddie Betts, Chris Yarran.

Umpires: Maurice Deegan (GAA), Matt Stevic (AFL).

Ireland: Michael Murphy (Donegal, Capt.), Aidan Walsh, (Cork, Vice-Capt.), Paddy O’ Rourke (Meath), Colm Begley (Laois), Colm Boyle (Mayo), Ciaran Byrne (Louth), Seán Cavanagh (Tyrone), Paul Conroy (Galway), Paul Flynn (Dublin), Finian Hanley (Galway), Lee Keegan (Mayo), Ciaran Kilkenny (Dublin), Paddy McBrearty (Donegal), Jack McCaffrey (Dublin), Neil McGee (Donegal), Chrissy McKaigue (Derry), Kevin McLoughlin (Mayo), Conor McManus (Monaghan), Ross Munnelly (Laois), Aidan O’Shea (Mayo), Ciarán Sheehan (Cork), Michael Shields (Cork), Zach Tuohy (Carlton and Laois).

Australia: Tony Armstrong (Sydney Swans), Dominic Barry (Melbourne), Eddie Betts (Carlton), Aaron Davey (Melbourne), Alwyn Davey (Essendon), Shaun Edwards (GWS), Jarrod Harbrow (Gold Coast), Lance Franklin (Hawthorn), Cameron Ellis-Yolmen (Adelaide), Josh Hill (West Coast), Leroy Jetta (Essendon), Lewis Jetta (Sydney Swans), Nathan Lovett-Murray (Essendon), Ash McGrath (Brisbane), Jake Neade (Port Adelaide), Steven Motlop (Geelong), Sharrod Wellingham (West Coast), Daniel Wells (North Melbourne), Chris Yarran (Carlton), Mathew Stokes (Geelong), Lindsay Thomas (North Melbourne).

Saturday, October 26, 2013

International Rules, Ireland v Australia

Future of the hybrid series on a knife-edge
The current international rules series between Australia and Ireland could be the last unless the AFL can convince the League's best players to back the hybrid game.

Julian Drape reports the GAA has expressed concern about Australia's recent inability to field a competitive team with Ireland winning easily away in 2011 and looking to repeat at home in 2013.

AFL officials, including football operations manager Mark Evans, met with their Gaelic counterparts this week to discuss the future.

No decisions were reached with the parties agreeing to talk again in a few months.

Evans on Friday said the GAA was keen to send a team to Australia in 2014 but it will come back to the AFL being able to hold up to its side of the bargain.

"We think the success of the series and the future of the series is dependent on getting the best players to participate – from the spectacle point of view, from an interest point of view and for the contest," he told reporters in Dublin ahead of the second Test at Croke Park on Saturday night (Sunday morning AEDT).

 Sunday, October 27, 2013

International Rules, Ireland v Australia
Ireland thrash Aussies in Dublin, 116-37

Ireland stormed to a record 79-point victory over Australia to retain the Cormac McAnallen Cup after a one-sided second Test before a crowd of 28,525 at Croke Park on Saturday night.

The GAA website recorded that after their 22-point win in Cavan last week, Ireland took the series with an aggregate winning margin of 101, which is the highest in the 29-year history of the International Rules Series.

Ireland led 27-8 at the end of the first quarter after goals from Conor McManus, who finished the game as Ireland’s top scorer with 24 points, fisted to the back of the net. McManus set up Ireland’s second seven minutes later, hand passing neatly for Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey to finish past Ash McGrath, the visitors’ goalkeeper.

When Ciarán Kilkenny – after some super soccer skills from Seán Cavanagh – added a third goal at the start of the second quarter, the game was as good as over as a contest. When McManus, the Player of the Series, chipped in with a fine over to increase Ireland’s lead to 32 minutes before half-time, Ireland had both hands on the Cormac McAnallen Cup.

Ireland led 53-16 at the break, and the intensity, increased tackle count and desire the Aussies had promised was nowhere to be seen. Ireland simply had far too many excellent footballers and for long periods the All-Indigenous visitors couldn’t lay a glove on them.

After the impressive Ciarán Sheehan and Michael Murphy landed further overs, McManus moved Ireland 71-19 ahead in the third quarter when he finished after good work from Carlton-bound Louth native Ciarán Byrne.

Ireland were 78 to 25 to the good at the three-quarter mark, but were 65 ahead soon after the resumption of play when Paddy McBrearty hit their fifth goal.

In fairness, Australia restored some pride with goals from Eddie Betts and Jake Neade, but Ireland added a sixth right at the end when Paul Conroy’s effort evaded Australian goalkeeper McGrath and snuck in at the far post.

The 79-point winning margin easily eclipsed the previous best (44), which Ireland recorded in the first Test in 2011.

Ireland v Australia
Saturday (n), October 26, 2013
at Croke Park, Dublin
Crowd: 28,525
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
IRE 2.4.3-27 (19) 3.10.5-53 (37) 4.15.9-78 (53) 6.22.14-116 (79)
AUST 0.2.2-8 0.4.4-16 0.7.4-25 2.7.4-37
SCORERS – Ireland: Goals (6pts): Conor McManus 2, Jack McCaffrey, Ciaran Kilkenny, Paddy McBreaty, Colm Begley. Overs (3pts): Michael Murphy 4, Conor McManus 4, Ciarán Sheehan 3, Lee Keegan 3, Ross Munnelly 2, Paddy McBrearty 1, Chrissy McKaigue 1, Paul Flynn 1, Ciaran Kilkenny 1, Seán Cavanagh 1, Michael Shields 1.
Australia: Goals (6pts): Eddie Betts 2, Jack Neade 1. Overs (3pts): Eddie Betts 2, Sharrod Wellingham 1, Lewis Jetta 1, Alwyn Davey 1, Lindsay Thomas 1, Josh Hill 1.
BEST: Ireland: Michael Murphy, Conor McManus,
Ciarán Sheehan, Zach Tuohy, Lee Keegan, Paddy McBrearty, Ross Munnelly. Australia: Steven Motlop, Eddie Betts, Lewis Jetta.

Michael Murphy (Donegal, Capt.), Aidan Walsh, (Cork, Vice-Capt.), Paddy O’ Rourke (Meath), Colm Begley (Laois), Colm Boyle (Mayo), Ciarán Byrne (Carlton, AFL), Seán Cavanagh (Tyrone), Paul Conroy (Galway), Paul Flynn (Dublin), Ciarán McKeever (Armagh), Lee Keegan (Mayo), Ciaran Kilkenny (Dublin), Paddy McBrearty (Donegal), Jack McCaffrey (Dublin), Neil McGee (Donegal), Chrissy McKaigue (Derry), Kevin McLoughlin (Mayo), Conor McManus (Monaghan), Ross Munnelly (Laois), John Doyle (Kildare), Ciarán Sheehan (Cork), Michael Shields (Cork), Zach Tuohy (Carlton, AFL).

Australia: Tony Armstrong (Sydney Swans), Dominic Barry (Melbourne), Eddie Betts (Carlton), Aaron Davey (Melbourne), Alwyn Davey (Essendon), Shaun Edwards (GWS), Jarrod Harbrow (Gold Coast), Cameron Ellis-Yolmen (Adelaide), Josh Hill (West Coast), Leroy Jetta (Essendon), Lewis Jetta (Sydney Swans), Nathan Lovett-Murray (Essendon), Ash McGrath (Brisbane), Jake Neade (Port Adelaide), Steven Motlop (Geelong), Sharrod Wellingham (West Coast), Daniel Wells (North Melbourne), Chris Yarran (Carlton), Mathew Stokes (Geelong), Lindsay Thomas (North Melbourne).

Umpires: Maurice Deegan (Ireland), Matt Stevic (Australia).

 Sunday, November 23, 2014

International Rules, Australia v Ireland
Aussies strong effort to down Ireland 56-46

Australia overcame a case of the third-quarter wobbles to post a 10-point victory over Ireland in Saturday night's International Rules clash at Subiaco Oval in Perth.

In front of a near sell-out crowd of 38,262, the AFL's cream of the crop were on track for an easy victory after opening up a 41-8 advantage early in the third quarter.

But a goal to Ireland's Darren Hughes – the first of the match – brought Ireland roaring back into the contest, with the visitors slamming through five consecutive overs to reduce the margin to just 13 points late in the term.

Justin Chadwick of AAP for Yahoo! Sport reported: Ireland kept pushing in the final quarter, and an own goal to Sydney defender Nick Smith gave the visitors a late lifeline.

But a brave save from Australian goalkeeper Dustin Fletcher in the final minute sealed the 0.17.5—56 to 2.9.7—46 win.

With only past or present All-Australians considered for selection this time around, the home side's rampant opening half was enough to get them over the line.

Australia's win gave them victory in the one-Test series, with the ledger now tied at 9-9.

Geelong ace Steve Johnson was crucial early and finished with four overs from 24 possessions, while Nick Riewoldt (three overs), Chad Wingard (three overs), Sam Mitchell, Leigh Montagna and Jarrad McVeigh also starred.

But it was Hawthorn skipper Luke Hodge who shone above everyone, with the veteran midfielder winning the Jim Stynes medal as the best Australian player.

Ruckman Nic Naitanui struggled to get into the game as a forward, but the 201cm jumping machine won every ruck tap he contested.

Irish veteran Sean Cavanagh, playing his 13th International Rules match, was prominent with a team-high 20 touches, while AFL star Pearce Hanley also featured strongly.

Forward Conor McManus finished with four goals to take out his team's award.

Ireland were meant to boast the superior kicking skills, but it was Australia who boasted the deadly edge in front of goal for most of the game.

Ireland controlled proceedings for much of the second half, but the early damage inflicted by Australia proved too much to overcome.

Australian coach Alastair Clarkson was proud of his team's effort, but said it was hard to compare the experience to the three premierships he had won at Hawthorn.

"It's enormously satisfying," Clarkson said.

"I'm going to have many great memories from my involvement in this series. The success tonight means we can play more of these series in years to come."

Ireland coach Paul Earley said his side's poor skills hurt them.

"We were uncharacteristically wide with our kicking. We didn't hit our targets up front," Earley said.

"Australia were incredibly accurate in front of goal. They kicked some fantastic overs in that first term."

Australia v Ireland
Saturday (n), November 22, 2014
at Subiaco Oval, Perth
Crowd: 38,262
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
AUST 0.7.1-22 (19) 0.11.2–35 (28) 0.14.4–46 (16) 0.17.5–56 (10)
IRE 0.1.1–3 0.1.4–7 1.6.6–30 2.9.7–46
SCORERS – Australia: Overs (3pts): Steve Johnson 4, Nick Riewoldt 3, Chad Wingard 3, Jarrad McVeigh 2, Brent Harvey 1, Robbie Gray 1, Joel Selwood 1, Kieran Jack 1, Luke Breust 1.
Ireland: Goals (6pts): Darren Hughes, team score. Overs (3pts): Conor McManus 4, Colm Begley 2, Mattie Donnelly 1, Kevin McKernan 1, Michel Murphy 1.
Best: Australia: Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell, Steve Johnson, Nick Riewoldt, Jobe Watson, Dustin Fletcher.
Ireland: Conor McManus, Colm Begley, David Moran, Michael Murphy, Mattie Donnelly.
Jim Stynes Medal: Luke Hodge.
GAA Medal: Conor McManus

Ireland: Colm Begley (Laois), Colm Boyle (Mayo), Seán Cavanagh (Tyrone), Cathal Cregg (Roscommon), Mattie Donnelly (Tyrone), Finian Hanley (Galway), Pearse Hanley (Brisbane Lions), Darren Hughes (Monaghan), Lee Keegan (Mayo), James McCarthy (Dublin), Ciaran McDonald (Tipperary), Neil McGee (Donegal), Chrissy McKaigue (Derry), Kevin McKernan (Down), Kevin McLoughlin (Mayo), Conor McManus (Monaghan), David Moran (Kerry), Niall Morgan (Tyrone), Ross Munnelly (Laois), Michael Murphy (Donegal, captain), Colm O’Neill (Cork), Pádraig O’Neill (Kildare), Paddy O’Rourke (Meath), Aidan O’Shea (Mayo), Aidan Walsh (Cork, vice-captain).

Australia: Grant Birchall (Hawthorn), Travis Boak (Port Adelaide), Luke Breust (Hawthorn), Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide), Dustin Fletcher (Essendon), Nat Fyfe (Fremantle), Brendan Goddard (Essendon), Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide), Brent Harvey (North Melb), Luke Hodge (Hawthorn), Kieran Jack (Sydney), Steve Johnson (Geelong), Jarrad McVeigh (Sydney), Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn), Leigh Montagna (St Kilda), Nic Naitanui (West Coast), Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda), Tom Rockliff (Brisbane), Joe Selwood (Geelong, captain), Brodie Smith (Adelaide), Nick Smith (Sydney), Harry Taylor (Geelong), Jobe Watson (Essendon), Chad Wingard (Port Adelaide).

Umpires: Duffy (Ireland), Meredith (Australia).

 Monday, November 23, 2015

International Rules, Ireland v Australia
Ireland hang on to down Aussies 56-52

The finish was not good for the nerves but Ireland clung on, after fading badly since half-time, to regain the Cormac McAnallen trophy in Croke Park on Saturday night.

Dermot Crowe for the Irish Independent reported: For the buoyancy and future welfare of the game the result, and manner in which it was achieved, will have done no harm. Nor will the healthy attendance of over 38,000. Ireland led by 20 points at half time, dominating the first two quarters, but they were struggling to make an impact for the remainder, living off scraps. A Bernard Brogan behind closed the scoring just before the hooter as Ireland found one final burst of energy.

Having scored three goals in the opening half, and breached the 20-point mark in each of the first two quarters, Ireland's scoring dried up alarmingly as the match progressed. They looked to run out of puff and their play became strewn with errors. They managed just seven points in the third quarter; only six in the last. With more clinical finishing Australia would have won,

Conor McManus, Ireland's top scorer with 17 points, had a goal chance midway through the final quarter, his shot flashing off the crossbar for an over which brought some relief. But concern soon soared when Australia delivered a cross ball which ended with Eddie Betts getting up over Niall Morgan and punching to the net for Australia's only goal with six minutes left. Robbie Gray's over had the increasingly brittle Ireland lead down to three.

Ireland looked doomed but finished in the visitors' half, finding something in the tank, and deserve credit for that. Afterwards, Brogan was declared their man of the match, his 13 points including four overs. But Aidan O'Shea also had a major hand in the victory, being hugely influential, and scoring two goals.

Australia v Ireland
Saturday (night), November 21, 2015
at Croke Park, Dublin
Crowd: 38,387
  1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
IRE 1.5.0–21 3.8.1–43 3.10.2–50 3.11.5–56
AUST 0.4.1–13 0.6.5–23 0.11.6–39 1.13.7–52
Scorers for Ireland: Bernard Brogan 13 (0-4-1), Aidan O’Shea 15 (2-1-0), Conor McManus 17 (1-4-2), Diarmuid Connolly 4 (0-1-1), Darren Hughes 3 (0-1-0), Lee Keegan 3 (0-1-0), Paul Kerrigan 1 (0-0-1).
Scorers for Australia: Eddie Betts 14 (1-2-2), Nick Riewoldt 10 (0-3-1), Robbie Gray 10 (0-3-1), Luke Breust 4 (0-1-1), Jarryd Roughhead 3 (0-1-0), Leigh Montagna 3 (0-1-0), Andrew Gaff 3 (0-1-0), David Mundy 3 (0-1-0), Jake Stringer 1 (0-0-1), Tom Rockliff 1 (0-0-1).

TEAMS: IRELAND: Bernard Brogan (c) (Dublin), Lee Keegan (vc) (Mayo), Niall Morgan (gk) (Tyrone), Colm Begley (Laois), Gary Brennan (Clare), Eoin Cadogan (Cork), Mattie Donnelly (Tyrone), Eoin Doyle (Kildare), Peter Harte (Tyrone), Darren Hughes (Monaghan), Paul Kerrigan (Cork), Jack McCaffrey (Dublin), Ciaran McDonald (Tipperary), Phillip McMahon (Dublin), Conor McManus (Monaghan), Rory O'Carroll (Dublin), John O'Loughlin (Laois), Aidan O'Shea (Mayo), Michael Quinn (Longford), Donnchadh Walsh (Kerry), Diarmuid Connolly (Dublin), Paul Cribbin (Kildare), Paddy McBrearty (Donegal).

AUSTRALIA: ?Luke Hodge (c) (Hawthorn), Dustin Fletcher (gk) (Essendon), Hayden Ballantyne (Fremantle), Eddie Betts (Adelaide), Grant Birchall (Hawthorn), Luke Breust (Hawthorn), Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong), Andrew Gaff (West Coast), Brendon Goddard (Essendon), Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide), Dyson Heppell (Essendon), Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn), Leigh Montagna (St Kilda), David Mundy (Fremantle), Robert Murphy (Western Bulldogs), Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda), Tom Rockliff (Brisbane Lions), Jarryd Roughead (Hawthorn), Nick Smith (Sydney Swans), Jake Stringer (Western Bulldogs), Harry Taylor (Geelong), Easton Wood (Western Bulldogs).
Attendance: 38,386
Referees: Joe McQuillan (Ireland), Mathew Nicholls (Australia)
Jim Stynes Medal: Harry Taylor
GAA Medal: Bernard Brogan

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