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Aussies humiliated as Ireland take huge lead into Game 2

International Rules

Australia's AFL players have been humiliated as Ireland ran rampant in Game 1 of the two part 2011 International Rules series.

The Irish now have virtually both hands on the Cormac McAnallen Cup with the series decided on aggregate margin and Australia starting the second match an unprecedented 44 point behind.  Ireland didn't let the AFL selection into the game and were never threatened.

The hybrid sport brings together aspects of Australian football and Gaelic football so that the elite players from each code can represent their countries.  Over the years the concept of a mostly All-Australian side has been diluted due to some elite players making themselves unavailable and also in recognition that some players in the All-Australian side are not well suited to IR.  For their part this year the Irish were disrupted by some county matches continuing so some players been torn between club and country.
 

Unfortunately the downgrading of Aussie availability has gone even further in 2011 and the Australian side is now almost devoid of star players.  Add to that a paltry 6 day preparation and the home team were sitting ducks.

The much vaunted superior fitness of the professional AFL players never materialised, lack of familiarity with the round ball was all too obvious, and the Irish players showed a perfect balance of aggression in tackling, surprisingly being superior in that aspect as well.

The game far more resembles Gaelic football than Aussie Rules and so Australia needs everything going its way to win these series.  Again, it is only the professional aspect of the AFL that gives Australia an edge, and it seems that the GAA squad has eroded that advantage over the years.  With Ireland well prepared including with a number of ex or current AFL players the visitors dominated like never before.  The final margin of 44 points was Australia's biggest loss ever.

There are always calls to dump the series due to the hybrid nature, small crowds in Australia or on field violence, but now Australia's non-competitiveness adds to the threat.  Of course it would be poor form to walk away just because they are not good enough.  Certainly a much better performance can be expected come Game 2 on the Gold Coast, but the huge deficit surely couldn't be overcome, so the Aussies will be playing for pride - a win, or at least a competitive match.

Ireland 4.17.5 (80)
Australia 1.8.6 (36)

For those unfamiliar with the hybrid sport, goals (into the soccer-style net) are worth 6, overs (like a conventional Aussie Rules goal) are worth 3 and  behinds worth 1.

GOALS (6 points)
Australia: Green
Ireland: M. Murphy, Glynn, Callaghan, McDonnell

OVERS (3 points)
Australia: Milne 2, Douglas, Nahas, Robinson, Gray, Monfries, Green
Ireland: McDonnell 4, T. Walsh 3, Donaghy 2, McKernan 2, M. Murphy 2, Glynn 2, Kennelly, B. Murphy

BEST
Australia: Milne, Vince, Douglas, Kelly, Green
Ireland: McDonnell, Cluxton, Hanley, Donaghy, T. Walsh, Kennelly

INJURIES
Australia: Shiels (corked thigh), King (jarred knee)
Ireland: Bolton (concussion), Donaghy (calf)

Reports:
Nil

Umpires: 
Chamberlain (Aus), Coldrick (Ire)

Official crowd:
22,921 at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

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Aussies humiliated as Ireland take huge lead into Game 2 | 8 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Aussies humiliated as Ireland take huge lead into Game 2
Authored by: duffman on Sunday, October 30 2011 @ 12:47 am ACDT

It seems that every year this seris is in crisis, if its not the violence its that Ireland are too far ahead or the Aussies are too good. This years team from Oz is a poor side as most of the best footy players didnt want to play. When the game is played well it is a great game but with only two games a year at most then one bad game creates a fuss over if there is a future or not.

On another note its funny how here in Ireland people say it is just Aussie rules with a round ball while in Australia it is seen as almost Gaelic. I reckon it is about 60% Gaelic but then we are not professional and have a smaller population to pick from so maybe thats about right, the altenitive is to play with a sheerin but have no tackle or mark.

Ireland Abu

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Aussies humiliated as Ireland take huge lead into Game 2
Authored by: Harley Vague on Sunday, October 30 2011 @ 11:37 am ACDT

Many people have made reference to this Australian side being a "poor" one. The Australian team only trained for 5 days I understand. That is not long enough to master the art of kicking the round ball and it showed with the inability to score from conservative range or defend the net. To make things more difficult the Irish played well in all facets. At the elit level there has been a lot of hype(very mixed) but the IR game serves a useful function at a grassroots level benefitting both codes many being annual curtainraiser event. That's the important focus.

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Aussies humiliated as Ireland take huge lead into Game 2
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, October 30 2011 @ 12:26 pm ACDT

Yeah I wondered if people from the Irish point of view would query the assertion that it's more Gaelic than Australian football.

It's no sour grapes either, just an observation.  I think it needs to be swayed towards Gaelic because of the issues like the AFL being professional.

But I can't escape the fact that the number one factor in a sport is the ball.  The difference between a top AFL player and an average one is things like how well they read the bounce of the ball, the flight of the ball (to get in position, to react first), how cleanly they handle it, how well they kick it.  All those things are at the top of the list and so the round ball is a huge advantage to Ireland.

Far below that is issues like tackling and marking.  And although they don't have a full tackle in Gaelic football the sport can be fairly robust and the players are no shrinking violets, and IR does not allow full tackling.  And having a goal net and goal keeper is foreign to Aussie Rules as well.

And marking gives Australia no advantage at all.  They can't read the flight well enough or kick it well enough to take strong marks or even pass it that well.  In fact it's possible the mark rule advantages Ireland.

So to me it's Gaelic football with a modest increase in tackling, the ability to pick the ball off the ground, marking which at best does not favour Australia, and point posts that make little difference and can assist both sides.

I'd say it's about 80% Gaelic football and it's about 40% Australian football (yes that's 120%, I'm saying there's a lot of overlap too).

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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Aussies humiliated as Ireland take huge lead into Game 2
Authored by: duffman on Monday, October 31 2011 @ 03:57 am ACDT

This was poted on a GAA forum today

I am in Australia and I've watched a lot of the AFL over the year. The rules of the game are more geared towards AFL let's face it.
The mark, you can tackle, the setup of the game is geared more towards stamina like AFL, throw in the fact that they are professionals who do weights every day, are in special diets and I think they have a huge advantage. I played AFL for a year and really enjoyed it but one aspect that the Irish would struggle with is when to take a mark and when not to. Add in the fact that if you take a mark and keep going you have to be aware that there may be a guy honing in on you to tackle you in a way that you are not used to and it's a really challenge for the Irish boys. The mark too is a gray areas, the Aussie would definitely have a lot more fielding in their game and would be a lot better at positioning themselves to take a mark while being challenged. However the round ball does take a different form and doesn't come at you as direct. The game is longer than our usual game with 20 minutes quarters, another challenge for the amateurs.
I believe the problem with the Australians and Australian supporters is that they are ignorant of Gaelic games, they see a rectangle pitch which is no advantage to anybody and a round ball and then they will tell you all day it's basically Gaelic. It's just like Eades comment that gaelic games haven't changed for a century so untrue, we made more dramatic changed to our game long before Australia made any. I would like to hear of all these changes that have been made. The main recent one that comes to mind is the push in the back (which they basically picked up from our game). We have introduced the quick free, we have tried the mark. Our game has changed dramatically from an aerial battle to more structured game, swarm defending etc.. So as I say personally I think that the only advantage that we have is the shape of the ball. The Australians have mastered the ball before. The problem is that the so called professionals have been caught out by the Irish this time. The Irish have made Eade eat his earlier words, they have come with a more physical side, with more fitness and better preparation. But try telling the sore loosers that.... They would be too dumb to understand. They constantly go on about it being Gaelic football because they are too ignorant and arogant to actually look at a game of GAA and see how different a game it is for us too!!

Not me i might add

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Aussies humiliated as Ireland take huge lead into Game 2
Authored by: Brett Northey on Monday, October 31 2011 @ 10:35 am ACDT

Ah well just like that person says they played AFL (I assume they mean Australian football), I've also played Gaelic football.  And while I didn't find it too difficult to adjust to the round ball, it did take a while and it would take years to become anywhere near as polished and good at reading it as the GAA players.

By claiming the Australians have an advantage because of the mark when clearly watching the game they do not is just ignoring the facts.  I'm afraid some Irish supporters like that have no idea of how big the ball issue is.  Let's face it, if they switched to an Aussie Rules football then Australia would win by 100+ points (seriously the ball would whizz around the field and the Gaelic lads would have their heads in a spin).  So what does that tell you about the importance of the ball?  Feel free to pass those comments on Duffman.  8)

However  I do agree that Eade's comments about Gaelic football not changing in 100 years were rather ignorant.  With only a passing interest I know that isn't true, and you wonder if Eade has paid any attention at all - presumably not.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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Aussies humiliated as Ireland take huge lead into Game 2
Authored by: Tobietta Rhyman on Monday, October 31 2011 @ 06:06 pm ACDT

I don't think the Irish would be at such a disadvantage with an oval ball- they've all played rugby at school at least and know the dynamics of an oval ball. No different from the young Aussie players who were bending the round ball like David Beckham after "5 days training"- clearly they've played some soccer before.

I guess I'm not neutral, but I also thought it was a pretty even mix of AFL:GAA. I think much of the confusion over the constitution of the game comes from each team essentially playing their own game within the Inter-rules perameters. The Irish team kicked the ball along the ground and went for goals, whilst the Aussies were handballing more and aimed between the posts. And if you were very familiar with one game and didn't know the other game (like most spectators), of course the strange rules and the style the opposition plays would stand out more.

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Little Pommy Girl
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Aussies humiliated as Ireland take huge lead into Game 2
Authored by: duffman on Monday, October 31 2011 @ 07:17 pm ACDT

I agree with most of your points Bret but the mark is hard to adjust to. I played Footy in WA a long time ago and also back in Ireland when the AFLI started and I found the mark a lot harder to get used to than the ball. I think the Irish guys would get used to the ball fairly quickly but then the tackle and the mark would have to go to balance it up. In reality both games are very similar, ie if you play centre half back in one and were to play centre half back in the other you would know how to play it as the ball would be coming from similar angles, you would have the same options when you get the ball(run, handpass or kick) and you would have to defend in a similar style.

By the way the post was on the 'Hogandstand' web site, I think you should reply as it will certinly rouse some debate.

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Aussies humiliated as Ireland take huge lead into Game 2
Authored by: Brett Northey on Monday, October 31 2011 @ 10:47 pm ACDT

I just wandered over and was tempted but I don't think I've got the time or energy to launch into a big blue over on another site.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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