We played too nice, Eade says
Australia coach Rodney Eade admits the International Rules series against Ireland is probably lost, but there’s still time to make a stand in the second Test and regain some pride.
Australia suffered a record 44-point loss in Friday’s opening Test at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium as Ireland claimed a massive victory 4.17.5 (80) to 1.8.6 (36).
Eade said Ireland’s kicking skills with the round ball were sensational but he also felt the tourists were more willing to push the envelope in terms of physical aggression.
He said it was something Australia must counter if they are to avoid another hiding in the second and final Test at Gold Coast on November 4.
Eade’s battle cry for more aggression might also help sell some more tickets for the Gold Coast match, after only 22,921 turned up for the opening Test.
“They were probably more physical than I expected,” Eade said.
“They probably beat us in that area as well.
“We probably worried too much about being nice and making sure the spirit of the game was upheld.
“I don’t think there’ll be fireworks but we’ll be certainly playing our way next week.
“It’s probably going to be difficult to win (the series with a higher aggregate score).
“We’ve really got to focus on making a stand and winning the game next week.
“(We’ll play) just with a bit more aggression. The Irish, every time we marked the ball we were ridden into the ground.
“A few times there wasn’t any penalties either which was disappointing.
“We’ve got to make the Irish earn (it) every time they get the ball and that’s within the spirit of the game.
“Maybe we were being a bit nice.”
Eade had preached the importance of avoiding the brawling tactics which marred the 2006 series and led Ireland to cancel the 2007 series. However he fears his men toned their aggression down too much.
Ireland coach Anthony Tohill was proud of his players for the way they adjusted to the tackling rules of the hybrid game, given that tackling is not allowed in Gaelic football.
But his main concern was for Emmet Bolton who was carried off the field on a stretcher after being concussed in a clash with Australia hard man Mitch Robinson.
“I’d say it’s at least concussion. It was a big hit,” Tohill said.
“Our thoughts are with him just until we hear the all-clear.”
Tohill said he had no problems with Australia lifting their aggression levels for the second Test.
“As long as it’s fair and within the rules of the game,” he said.
Tohill said the crowd figure was disappointing.
“It probably is yeah. Probably the weather this evening didn’t help,” he said.
“We’re interested in what the scoreboard says at the end of the match. I don’t think anyone could say we didn’t play entertaining football.”
Tohill said the performances of Ireland players with AFL experience such as Tadhg Kennelly and Pearce Hanley was vital.
Both coaches praised the performance of Tommy Walsh, the former St Kilda player who failed to get a senior game under Ross Lyon and will now line up with Sydney in 2012.
Australia’s Jake King is rated a 50-50 chance to recover from a jarred knee for the second Test while Liam Shiels is tipped to play despite a corked thigh.© AAP 2013
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