Thursday, October 24 2013 @ 06:24 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
When the International Rules (or compromise rules) format was first put together as a way for Aussie rules footballers to tour Ireland and play a competitive brand of football where both the Australians and Irish could represent their countries, they probably never considered that this new version of the game would be played elsewhere. It has however become a patch of common ground for Aussie rules and Gaelic football clubs far from their native shores to link up. Thanks to the President of the Nova Scotia AFL, Jonah Scott for the following report.
International Rules Football was introduced to Nova Scotia during the month of October as the Halifax Dockers and the Halifax Gaelic Football Club played off against each other in the inaugural 2013 Nova Scotia International Rules Football Series. Like the series being held in Ireland this month, the 2013 Nova Scotia IRF Series also consisted of a battle between a team of Gaelic Footballers, mostly of Irish decent, and one of Australian Rules Footballers, half of which were Aussies.
Representing Australia in the series were the Halifax Dockers. The Dockers are an Australian Rules Football team based in Halifax Nova Scotia who play in the newly established Nova Scotia Australian Football League. Representing Ireland in the series were the Halifax Gaelic Football Club. They are a community sporting organization based in Halifax that play Gaelic Football and Hurling.
Game #1 of the series was played under sunny skies on Oct. 12th and went the way of the Dockers. The Dockers jumped out of the blocks fast and by quarter time had a handy 20 point lead. They extended on this lead in the second quarter leaving the Gaels with a 35 point deficit to try and get back in the second half. This lead proved to be too much in the end, the Dockers eventual winners 65 to 34.
Game #2 was played on Oct. 20th in overcast conditions on a soggy ground. The change in conditions from the previous week seemed to favour the Gaels and they quickly turned the tables on the Dockers by flying out to a 22 point quarter time lead. By half time, the 31 point aggregate that the Dockers had from Game #1 had vanished as the Gaels had managed to build up a 9 point series lead. The second half was all Gaels as they stretched their lead to come out eventual winners of Game #2 with the final score of 27 to 73. The big win by the Gaels won them the series by a comfortable 15 points.
Due to the great success of the series both the Dockers and the Gaels have agreed to continue with this yearly event for as long as there are players to participate. Since both Aussie Rules and Gaelic Football is growing in popularity yearly in Halifax, Halifax can probably expect to see many more series in the future between these two clubs. It is safe to say that the Australia vs Ireland football rivalry is alive and well in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and the Irish have bragging rights for being the best, at least until the 2014 Nova Scotia International Rules Football Series.
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