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18th Nov 2017

PICS: A lot of empty seats at second International Rules test in Perth

Niall McIntyre

This game was expected to be a sell-out.

The second and final test of the 2017 International Rules series took place in the Domain Stadium in Perth on Saturday morning.

Last weekend’s first test in the Adalaide Oval had an attendance of 25’502, leaving almost 30’000 empty seats, and consequently, a relatively dead atmosphere in the South Australia stadium.

More expats were expected to make their way to Perth for the defining test, and the Australian fan base was supposed to be increased on last week’s as well, seeing as this would be the last game to ever take place in the old stadium.

Early evidence suggests that these increased crowd expectations have not come to pass, with a host of empty seats visible.

The optics didn’t look great.

If the turn-out didn’t live up to expectations, the game certainly did. Both sides were fired up from the word-go, with an early scuffle between Eoin Cadogan and his markers setting the tone.

Aidan O’Shea was horsing himself into his Aussie opponents, provoking plenty of ire and frustration from them.

Ireland got off to a flying start, though, and lead 17-10 at the end of the first quarter, with Gary Brennan scoring the first goal and playing a key role in setting up the other for Mayo’s Chris Barrett.

They picked up where they left off in the second quarter, with Conor McManus’ radar most certainly on from placed balls.

At half-time it was 30-17 to Ireland which gave them a three point lead on aggregate.

The teams broke into a scrap at the half-time whistle, after which the small Ireland crowd made themselves heard with vivacious chants of olé, olé, olé.

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