Report: Ireland claim International series win

Australia were once again put to the sword by a superior Irish side at the Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast. A fractious opening ensued as expected with the obligatory hustle bustle prior to throw in.

Six players were sent to the bin on what was, in reality, a damp squib and stop start throughout.

Australia got off to a flying start leading 8-1 early on but this proved a false dawn. Ireland were always in control and moved through the gears when required, leading 8-12 after the first quarter and stretching that lead to 23-34 at half-time.

Steven McDonnell was once again inspirational on what will prove to be his last outing for his country, chipping in with nine points. Leighton Glynn also contributed nine points and got the only goal of the game when he coolly slotted past Matthew Suckling in the Australian goal just before half-time, the game was over as a contest from there on in.

Ireland went on to lead 24-41 after the third quarter and 29-50 at full-time. Other notable performers were Kieran Donaghy, Michael Murphy and Tommy Walsh.

Some harsh questions need to be asked about the viability of this series from here on in.

The timing of the series is a major issue, with both the Irish and Australian seasons just over, it is very difficult to expect the crowds to immediately get excited about a series which essentially means very little, in comparison with the strong connection and affiliation both sets of fans would have with their counties and clubs respectively.

The lack of respect and disinterest shown by the Australians, in picking a side showing only four players who have played the hybrid version of the game before has signalled an intent to do away with the series altogether.

Two poorly contested tests have resulted in a 65-130 point scoreline in favour of the Irish but one wonders how different the series could have been had the Australians sent their big guns to battle.
Anthony Tohill and his charges have done their country proud but they as much as anyone would have wanted to be tested against the best that Australia had and sadly that wasn’t the case.

Once again the series has been brought into question but with the next encounter scheduled for 2013 in Ireland one hopes there will be more interest amongst the Irish public. If public interest cannot be generated next time out, it may be time to call a halt to the contest altogether, for fear of flogging what is fast becoming a dead horse.


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