Relief for Tohill as Ireland complete the job

Ireland International Rules manager Anthony Tohill praised the way his players went about their business in their Series-clinching win over Australia on the Gold Coast.

Ireland International Rules manager Anthony Tohill praised the way his players went about their business in their Series-clinching win over Australia on the Gold Coast.

Leighton Glynn scored the only goal of a scrappy game that finished 50-29 in the tourists' favour, sealing a record-breaking 65-point aggregate success for Tohill's side.

The Derry man said afterwards: "The players have been a pleasure to work with and their execution again tonight was very good.

"I can't say enough praise for the lads and what they've achieved here. Our target before we came out here was to win the series 2-0.

"We did half of that job last Friday night and finished it tonight. We're relieved and very satisfied with our victory."

Tadhg Kennelly, the Irish Player of the Series, and the ever accurate Steven McDonnell, who scored 27 points across the two games, were two of the Ireland players to shine.

Stephen Cluxton and Ciaran McKeever were rock solid at the back again, and Glynn, Colm Begley, Michael Murphy and Kieran Donaghy all featured in the best Irish moves.

Six yellow cards blighted the game though as the Australians took a more physical approach and Ireland got involved in a series of off-the-ball incidents.

Five of the cards were awarded in an ill-tempered third quarter during which Finian Hanley and McKeever were sent to the line, following Murphy who was carded before the interval.

Tohill was thankful that none of his players were injured during the scuffles and insisted that the Series must continue to be played in a sporting manner.

"It's a very, very fine line. For a while tonight I thought it was going to boil over," he admitted.

"I must say I'm relieved to get all my players off that pitch with no injuries. There was a time there tonight I was concerned with where that game was going.

"I'm just glad that it settled down and that we got the game finished with no injuries."

34-23 ahead at half-time, Ireland extended their lead despite the best efforts of Australian captain Brad Green who finished with 10 points.

The Australians' coach Rodney Eade conceded that his team had been outplayed by the Gaelic footballers whose attitude and skill levels impressed him.

"I would like to say well done to the Irish, they were fantastic. They thoroughly deserved it, they were very professional, and professional to me is not measured in money," he said.

"It's the way they went about it and the application and I thought they were outstanding.

"It was probably one of the best squads they've picked and we need to come up to that level next time."

Eade only had two All-Australians in his inexperienced squad and if more of the AFL's big names make themselves available for the hybrid game, he reckons the deficit can be closed.

With the next Series taking place in Ireland in 2013, he commented: "Hopefully some players will be available who have got the skill level. That's pretty easy.

"Obviously some guys in our side didn't have that skill level and weren't able to adapt.

"That's fine. I think it's proven in the past that some guys can kick it who have played the game, so hopefully they'll be available in a couple of years."

Notably, this is the fourth Series in-a-row that the away side has won and Jim Stynes medal winner James Kelly agrees that a trip to Ireland at the end of the Aussie Rules season can have more of a lure for the game's stars.

"It would probably make it a bit easier if it's in Ireland. The boys get a bit of a trip over there and get to go to Copper Face Jacks," he quipped.

"I think maybe it's just the way it worked out this year with a few guys with operations and injuries.

"But hopefully some of the guys see that we didn't perform that well today and want to put their hand up in a couple of years' time."d

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