Category: Archive

Fallout may spoil future

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

With pressure on the future of the series growing and a rapidly diminishing appetite for it becoming apparent in Ireland, it seems certain that a repeat of the scenes in Dublin next year will mean the end of relations between the two countries.
“There has been a return to unacceptable behavior over the last few years,” said GAA president Se_n Kelly. “It has no part in either our game or International Rules.
“If it were to be repeated over the next few years then the pressure to end the series will grow. The Australians will be aware of the fact that things have gone overboard. No more than us, they don’t want to see people injured or put into danger. We would never tolerate that.”
Kelly evidently hadn’t spoken to AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou in order to settle on a party line. Demetriou, in contrast, saw the series – which, by the by, Australia won by a massive aggregate total of 57 points – as “a resounding success”.
“It was a terrific game,” he said, referring to last Friday’s second test. “It entertained a lot of people and it was a great series.”
Demetriou didn’t even think that Aussie captain Chris Johnson’s flying clothesline on Philip Jordan was that big a deal.
“I don’t think it detracted from the game. It wasn’t a pretty incident but it will be dealt with as it should be by a tribunal.”
As temperatures rose in the northern hemisphere, the Australian management also came out in force defending their players over the weekend. Jim Stynes, the Dubliner who was Australia’s assistant coach, accused the Irish players of provocation and also declared that he thought Johnson’s tackle deserved no more than a yellow card.
“Every time an Aussie turned around there was an Irish guy in his face, fired up and ready to take him on,” he said. “Once it started to get out of hand, out players retaliated.”
Kevin Sheedy, the Australian coach, echoed Stynes’s words.
“One or two of the Irish boys were having a bit of fun and our guys were getting agitated,” he said. “Some of the Irish were tripping our guys over and tripping in this country isn’t on. It’s sort of like and ankle trip and the boys don’t like this kind of stuff.”
Be that as it may, there’s a difference between a trip and a forearm to the jaw, one emphatically underlined by Irish coach Pete McGrath who was incandescent in the aftermath of the series.
“There was stuff happening out there that wasn’t sport. There were players afraid.”
The two associations will meet in January to decide what the future holds.

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