Australia rub salt into the wounds after bad week for Irish sport 2 years ago

Australia rub salt into the wounds after bad week for Irish sport

Australia 53-50 Ireland

It just hasn't been a good week for Irish sport. Our soccer team were thrashed by Denmark and we didn't get awarded the rugby World Cup.

We were hoping Ireland's International Rules team could brighten up a bad week, but it wasn't to be as a strong second half from Australia saw them run out winners of both the second test and the series.

It was always going to be a fiery start from Ireland and nothing personified this desire more than Aidan O’Shea tussling with the opposition, it was game time for these men.

Ireland came bursting out of the blocks as they raced into a lead with early goals from Clare’s Gary Brennan and Mayo’s Chris Barrett. Brennan also assisted Barrett for Ireland’s second after getting on the end of a Michael Murphy pass.

The Australians seemed to have come to terms with Ireland’s game plan and grew into the game more in the second quarter. Scores were limited in the opening five minutes but frees from Michael Murphy and Conor McManus helped Ireland extend their lead.

It could have been so much more as a cheetah-like run from Shane Walsh saw him send Darren Hughes through on goal but the Monaghan man's shot was stopped.

Joe Selwood received a black card for a dangerous tackle on Chris Barrett at the end of the second as Ireland went in with a 33-17 lead, an overall three-point lead in the series.

As a consequence, there was a fallout at the end of the half.

It wasn’t going to be a whitewash though, similar to last week the Australians came into their own as Nat Fyfe established himself as the talisman on the back of Shane Walsh finding a one-on-one chance saved.

Indeed, Fyfe was on fire at this stage. His mark over Kevin Feely was a sight to behold. That leap is something else.

Simple mistakes from Ireland, including Niall Morgan overplaying the ball in front of his own goal, meant that Australia narrowed the lead to just two.

A late score from Conor McManus meant that Ireland went into the final quarter seven points up, needing to put just three more between the sides to retain the Cormac McAnallen Cup.

But it went downhill from there as Australia grew into the game. Ireland struggled for scores in the final quarter as Australia’s physicality came to fruition in the final 18 minutes to win the series.

It was some turnaround after Ireland took a 33-17 lead into halftime but bit by bit Australia began to dominate as Ireland faltered with Nat Fyfe stranding out in particular.

In the end, Australia won the game 53-50 and the overall series by 13 points and were deserving winners.