Australia vs Ireland: AFL International Rules first Test highlights, live scores, blog

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    Australia vs Ireland

    2017 AFL International Rules Series - First Test

    Adelaide Oval
    Australia Ireland
    63 SCORE 53
    2 Goals 1
    13 Overs 13
    12 Behinds 8

    Match result:

    Australia have won the first International Rules Test against Ireland by a margin of ten points, but it has come at a cost to the Collingwood Football Club with Scott Pendlebury breaking a finger.

    » Click here to read the full match report

    Final score
    Australia 2.13.12 (63)
    Ireland 1.13.8 (53)

    Match preview:

    The International Rules Series returns to Australia for the first time since 2014 as a who’s who of the country’s greatest players takes on Ireland at the Adelaide Oval. Join The Roar for live coverage and all the action from 4:10pm (AEDT).

    The hybrid game seemed to be dead in the water after a 2013 tour to Ireland saw a substandard Aussie line-up hammered from pillar to post in a humiliating defeat, but since changing the squad criteria, the series has seen a resurgence.

    One-off games in 2014 and 2015, with Australia only choosing players who had been nominated for the All-Australian squad at some point in their careers, saw a pair of skillful, hard-fought contests, with the Aussies triumphing in Perth before the Irish took back the Cormac McAnallen Cup one year later.

    The initial squad of 23 has been cut back to 21 following GWS star Toby Greene being ruled out with a broken toe and Gary Ablett’s withdrawal due to personal reasons, but with the likes of Eddie Betts, Patrick Dangerfield and Nat Fyfe still in the mix, there’s no question that the side is armed to the teeth with ability.

    For most casual Australian fans, the names Zach Tuohy and Pearce Hanley will look familiar in the Ireland line-up, but while the rest are relatively unknown down under, they are still a formidable force.

    Vice-captain and multiple All-Star recipient (the Gaelic football equivalent of an All-Australian gong) Conor McManus spearheads a strong squad of some of the code’s best and brightest, and while the Aussie players will all have one eye on the 2017 AFL season, the amateur status of the Irish game means this is the biggest day in their sporting careers for many of the Irish players.

    And with nearly all of them holding a job outside of football due to the abysmally poor pay (many earn less than AUD$12,000 per year from the sport) the players receive, it’s just another reason to root for this band of bricklaying, welding and real estate-selling Davids against the Goliaths of Australian footy.

    Ireland’s record in these matches is very impressive, but Australia’s fortunes have greatly improved since they started actually taking selection policy seriously, and fans at the Adelaide Oval should be treated to a series-opening win for the hosts.

    Australia to triumph by 21 points.

    However, even a win for Ireland won’t necessarily be enough for them to retain the trophy, with the result being decided by the points tally at the end of the two games- so even if the result is beyond doubt in Game 1, every point will still count.

    Can Australia take one step towards returning the Cormac McAnallen trophy to the southern hemisphere? Or will the Irish take down their more fancied opponents with a stirring win in enemy territory?

    Tune into The Roar’s live coverage of the match from 4:10pm (AEDT), and don’t forget to leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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    The Crowd Says (93)

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    • Roar Guru

      Tim Miller said | 6:16pm | ! Report

      That’s it from me for this first Test. Australia take the first International Rules match at the Adelaide Oval with a 10-point win over Ireland. Thanks for tuning in!

      Australia 2.13.12 (63) defeated Ireland 1.13.8 (53) by 10 points at the Adelaide Oval.

      Australia: Fyfe, Shuey.
      Ireland: M. Murphy.

      Australia: Fyfe 3, Wingard 2, Brown 2, Zorko 2, Dangerfield, Hibberd, Betts, Ryder.
      Ireland: McManus 7, M Murphy 4, Sweeney, Geaney.

      Australia: Fyfe, Simpson, Hibberd, Goddard, Zorko.
      Ireland: McManus, M Murphy, Walsh, Tuohy, Geaney.

      Australia: Pendlebury (broken finger)
      Ireland: Nil

    • Roar Guru

      Tim Miller said | 6:07pm | ! Report

      Australia have drawn first blood in the International Rules Series, with a blistering third quarter proving the difference as the hosts were made to fight hard to shake off a plucky Ireland in recording a 10-point victory.

      Six-pointers from best on ground Nat Fyfe and Luke Shuey proved the difference in the end, with the game also marked by a few spot-fires as both teams gave it their all in front of an entertained crowd at the Adelaide Oval.

      But the win has been soured, at least for Collingwood fans, with captain Scott Pendlebury set to miss the second Test of the series, and potentially the start of pre-season training as well, with a broken finger sustained in the second term.

      Fyfe was a class above all day, bringing Australia back into the contest after Ireland had broken clear early in the second term with a pair of overs, before producing the play of the day in the third: a curling strike that beat Irish keeper Niall Morgan before rebounding off the post for the hosts’ first goal.

      Half-back stalwarts Michael Hibberd and Kade Simpson were almost as influential, with the latter bringing his own ball as he racked up 37 touches with customary composure, while Patrick Dangerfield, Eddie Betts and Chad Wingard were all dangerous with ball in hand.

      But defender Robbie Tarrant was just as influential, taking Irish star Michael Murphy, who threatened to break the game open with two first-quarter overs, effectively out of the match for the rest of the game.

      For the Irish, it was Conor McManus and then daylight, as the star forward booted seven overs for the match, while Murphy was impressive with two goals and a six-pointer in the first quarter and a bit before being nullified by Tarrant, finishing with two more overs in the final term.

      As the match ebbed and flowed in a pulsating first half, where twice the Irish dominated the start of the quarter before the Australians took over the longer it went on, the only question was whether the Australians’ dominance in the time in possession stakes- they finished the half with almost double the visitors’ disposals- would be enough to outweigh Ireland’s greater quality in moving it forward.

      And that question was answered in emphatic fashion as Ireland began to tire early in the second half, with Fyfe, Dangerfield and the silky Dayne Zorko running amok in midfield, and Ben Brown and Eddie Betts dangerous in front.

      It was the Aussies’ turn to tire in the final quarter as Ireland, led by the ultra-impressive McManus, kept on coming, before a clever tap-in on the goal line from Luke Shuey finally put the result to bed.

      Nevertheless, with the series to be decided on the points aggregate across the two matches, Ireland’s ability to score a pair of overs late to reduce the margin from 17 to 10 points by the final siren could prove crucial when the two teams head to Perth next week.

    • 6:01pm
      mickyo said | 6:01pm | ! Report

      Although i am hesitant to quote Basil, it was a good exhibition of IR, it really has a good flavour of AF, Gaelic and a soccer influence no doubt because of the round ball and the influence the EPL must play in Ireland being just across the Irish sea from England.

      Personally i feel it is understated and underrated in Australia, whether that can be turned around is debateable as the last few years has seen it fade a bit in popularity.

      I may point out that marking or fielding as it is called in Ireland has now become part of the game, previously the Gaelic game did not recognise the mark.

      Maybe a bit to much handball, but i think part of that is the Australians hesitant to kick as they have a distinct lack of experience with the Gaelic ball..

    • Roar Guru

      Tim Miller said | 5:55pm | ! Report

      Bad news for Collingwood fans: Scott Pendlebury has been in the rooms since half time, and may require a scan on an injured finger.

    • Roar Guru

      Tim Miller said | 5:55pm | ! Report


      As the siren ticks ever closer, the Irish pull out a party trick as Murphy soccers the ball brilliantly into the path of Walsh, who does brilliantly to collect and slam through…a behind. He curses to himself, but the siren sounds and Australia will take a 10-point lead into Game 2.

      Australia 2.13.12 (63)
      Ireland 1.13.8 (53)


    • Roar Guru

      Tim Miller said | 5:53pm | ! Report


      Geaney finds McManus, who marks on the flank as everyone looks nearly out of it. He puts everything into the kick long, but he can’t score his eighth as the ball fades to the right.

      Australia 63
      Ireland 52

      Q4, 17′

    • Roar Guru

      Tim Miller said | 5:52pm | ! Report

      Time now the enemy for Ireland, as the clock ticks over the 17-minute mark. Tuohy takes a free kick and goes long, but it drifts out on the full. That might have been their last chance.

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