Last waltz for tearful Kennelly

TADHG KENNELLY struggled to contain his emotions before yesterday’s clash with Australia

After what was his last International Rules game, he said: “I remember singing the national anthem and I welled up a bit. I was squeezing the s*** out of Tommy Walsh to try to stop myself! It probably just hit me a bit. The last two games in this series I’ve really enjoyed myself. It’s the first time this year that I’ve just let my hair down. The bit I have! My (Sydney Swans) team-mate Ben McGlynn was playing on me and we had a laugh and good fun out there. I’ve enjoyed the whole series more than anything else.”

Meanwhile, Australia coach Rodney Eade felt his side’s 21-point losing margin was an unfair reflection on their display.

He reasoned: “I didn’t think the score portrayed the difference between the teams. We put in a terrific effort — it was just the skill level again. They had us there. We made some bad errors. They were able to take advantage every time they got an opportunity. I said to the lads that they needed to be more aggressive. “The Irish were more aggressive in the first game but we were equal with them in that tonight.”

About the bouts of indiscipline that broke out between the players, Eade felt it was much ado about nothing.

“One of our players was sent off (yellow-carded) for dragging a guy away… I thought that was a bit harsh. I didn’t think there was a lot in it. But well done to the Irish. They were fantastic and deserved to win.

“They were very professional. To me, professionalism isn’t measured in money. It means the way you go about it. Their application was outstanding and it was probably the best squad they picked. We need to come up to that level next time.”

Eade hopes Australia will be able to call on players with better “skill sets” for the next series set for Ireland in 2013.

James Kelly, winner of the Jim Stynes medal for best Australian player of the series, said he’s looking forward to being part of the squad in two years’ time but not just for the obvious reasons.

“It would probably make it a bit easier if it is in Ireland,” said the Geelong player, an AFL Premiership winner this year. “The boys will get a trip over there, and get to go to Copper Face Jacks!

“It didn’t work out this year with a few guys unavailable because of operations and injuries but hopefully they will want to put their hand up in a couple of years’ time.”

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