IRISH manager Sean Boylan is confident Friday’s decisive International Rules Test will be played in a ‘‘fair and honest’’ manner.
Ireland’s one point victory over the hosts in Perth last week passed off without any of the controversy or ill discipline which has marred the competition in recent years.
And Boylan expects more of the same for the trip to the Melbourne Cricket Grounds.
Said Boylan: “We saw how competitive the first test was. It was ferocious at times, but it was fair and honest. If someone got hurt the hand was outto help them up and that was lovely to see. It’s the same off the field as well.
“The lads (from both sides) met after the game and while you might say it’s all lip service, it’s more than that. There is a genuine goodwill feeling there.
“I don’t see why Friday’s game will be different. If you go out with a different intent you are not going to play the same type of football and I think football was the winner last week. We got a great lead twice and they came back. It would be very interesting to see if we would be capable of coming back if they went ahead.’’
He added: “Whether we like it or not these lads are role models. Leighton Glynn he’ll never be the same again. He now an international – and what an international!
“It’s the same with some of the lads who played for Australia. Some of them were unknown players and they are on the world stage now. It’s fantastic for them as people. You like to do it with honour and glory.’’
Players and management will have had plenty of opportunities to review their performance over the last few days in the days ahead but Boylan has already highlighted their last quarter collapse as a key area to be remedied.
“We know how competitive the Australians are and we know how difficult it is going to be to stay with them. But, that’s what we will endeavour to do.
” I know we made mistakes and it’s very easy to point those out. But things happen so fast out there and there were showers or rain which made the ball greasy. The Australians were like scarlet pimpernels on their feet, they were that light on their feet.’’
Apart from pinning his hopes for the second test on the newer players showing the benefit of their first real experience of the game, Boylan said it had been reassuring to see the contribution that came from seasoned campaigner Graham Canty who will be winning his 12th cap in the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Grounds).
This will place the vice-captain third behind (official team runner) Seán Marty Lockhart (15 appearances) and Ciaran McManus (14).
“Having lost our shape in the last quarter, if ever you wanted to see the measure of a man, his worth to a squad and the leadership he brings to the field, it was Graham Canty.
“He was just immense. Seán (Cavanagh, the team captain) had got a knock at the start of the quarter and it was like Graham took over. He was fantastic.’’
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