McGrath: We can beat Aussies by 37

Manager Pete McGrath has sounded a battle cry to his Ireland troops ahead of tomorrow's International Rules second Test by claiming: "We can beat Australia by 37 points."

Manager Pete McGrath has sounded a battle cry to his Ireland troops ahead of tomorrow's International Rules second Test by claiming: "We can beat Australia by 37 points."

Anything less and the Cormac McAnallen Cup will remain Down Under where the 2005 series was blown asunder last week by the Aussies' fiery 100-64 first Test win.

Stung by that record defeat, the Irish have regrouped this week at the Victorian beach resort of Sorrento, licking their wounds while taking in a three-day training camp ahead of tomorrow's Melbourne rematch.

Over 20,000 tickets have been sold for the second Test which will see McGrath's men become the first senior Gaelic footballers to play indoor under the Telstra Dome's retractable roof since the 1980s.

AFL chiefs expecting an attendance in the region of 35,000 - 19,000 short of the Dome's capacity.

That statistic that will certainly not be concerning Newry school teacher McGrath, who names his 23-man panel for the clash later today.

The former Down boss admitted: "If I was a betting man I would say the series is out of reach but I am not a betting man.

"Where there is life there is hope - they beat us by 36 points and certainly we can beat them by 37.

"One thing about sport, it's unpredictable - if we all knew here this morning that the series was dead it would be a poor comment on our approach generally."

If Ireland are to challenge the hosts' aggregate lead - the equivalent of six goals - then an overall improvement in kicking, passing, tackling and tactical deployment will be needed.

Tyrone midfielder Sean Cavanagh is determined to stop the Aussies' attack in its tracks.

The Moy man said: "We sat down and went through each quarter on how they played. I think everyone knows that we didn't more or less tackle Australia last Friday night - we let them run at us.

"And because we had been on the field that long, we weren't fit enough to chase them back and they were running at us in threes and fours.

"They were fresher and able to run the ball and we just couldn't keep uup with them. I think you'll see improvements this time around and I'd be confident that you'll see us using our energy better - driving forward as much as tracking back after them," added the 2005 All-Star nominee.

Asked about overhauling the Aussies' first Test lead, Cavanagh conceded: "36 points is a huge deficit, but if we can get camped in their own area, we're capable of taking overs and six pointers. You never know - anything is possible in this game."

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