Eade says Aussies will up aggression

AUSTRALIAN coach Rodney Eade has promised his side won’t be holding back in the aggression stakes after being out-muscled by the visitors in Etihad Stadium.

Apart from Ireland’s superior kicking, Eade felt Anthony Tohill’s men won the physical battle and believes his players were preoccupied with behaving.

“I thought we worried about being too nice and making sure the spirit of the game was upheld,” he said.

“I don’t think there’ll be fireworks [in the second test] but we’ll be certainly playing our way next week.”

Asked to elaborate on his “our way” remark, Eade explained: “I think there’ll just be a bit more aggression. I think every time we marked the ball we were driven into the ground.

“A few times there weren’t any penalties either, which was disappointing. I think we have to make the Irish feel it every time they get the ball and that’s within the spirit of the game. But I think we carried that being a bit nice.”

Eade admitted he might have understated just how aggressive Ireland were going to be.

“Yeah, they were probably more physical than I expected, to be honest. I think they beat us in that area as well so we need to take stock of that.”

Apart from citing the inexperience of his team, Eade wasn’t making any excuses for the emphatic defeat.

“We were just beaten by a better side. You could see the skill level and the disparity of it with the use of the ball was just extreme.

“We struggled to control the ball and the Irish were just fantastic with how they used the ball. Their kicking skills were sensational, from short range to long range where they were kicking 50m passes, which is extraordinary.

“There’s no doubt we can play better. There’s no doubt we will play better.

“At half-time, we were 24 points down but I thought we were just getting the hang of it but to come out after half-time and not go on with that improvement was disappointing. But there’s no doubt that we will get better.”

Pushed on whether Australia can claw back the record-breaking deficit to retain the Cormac McAnallen Trophy with an aggregate win or draw, Eade suggested it was an onerous task.

However, he insisted his players won’t need any reminding from him that they have to perform in the Gold Coast next Friday.

“It’s going to be difficult to win [the series] but we really have to make a stand and win the game. Whether that victory will look like I don’t think we can worry about that — we just have to win and make a stand.

“I don’t think there’ll be any problem with motivating the players. We have players who have experienced this kind of thing at AFL level. They’re very professional in their mindset and I’ve no doubt they’ll bounce back.”

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