Saturday, November 04, 2006

8 points ain't a whole lot

In fact, Ireland's lead going into tomorrow's second Test in Croke Park is just over 2 points in Gaelic football terms. A couple of overs (an over is worth 3 points) from the Ausies and they're back in it.

Maybe it's pessimism but I'm worried that Australia's higher levels of fitness and strength will see them through the vital final quarter and land them the series. I hope I'm wrong.

One thing I know for sure is that the Australians are gonna come out tomorrow looking for a fight. They're gonna forget the ball and go for the man. It's imperative that Ireland don't play into this and that we just concentrate on playing football. The same thing happened two years ago when we won the first test well and the Australians tried to start a fight at the start of the second test. I was so proud of our lads that day. They kinda looked at the Aussies, said - sure, you go ahead and fight but we're here to play football. And play football they did; we annihilated them.

This time it's different. This Australian side is a lot better than two years ago. (Maybe they're not quite as good as last year when the killed us dead but they're still tough.) We need to keep our heads, improve our kick-outs and put the damn ball over the bar.

Tomorrow's sell-out crowd in Croke Park - 82,000 - will be the biggest crowd at an Irish international in any sport ever. In my opinion, that's a testament to GAA's supremacy over other sports in Ireland. I wish the knockers of International Rules would, well, knock it off. The sport has it's problems but it's still young and deserves a chance. It's also the only way our great footballers get to play for their country and anyone who would deprive Kieran McGeeney of his Irish jersey can take a flying fuck.

I'm heading up to Croker with Alan, my dad, Garrett and Karl. I want two things from tomorrow; an Irish win and a good game.

Let you know how it goes.

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