Still difficult ball game for Ireland, says Reilly

MEATH and Ireland defender Kevin Reilly has dubiously claimed that kicking the round ball in the International Rules series is ‘difficult’ for Gaelic footballers too.

The use of a round ball, as opposed to the oval ball used in Australian Rules football, remains Ireland’s primary advantage in the hybrid code.

Yet Reilly, who was steady in defence in last weekend’s first test and hopes to win his sixth Irish cap in Saturday’s decisive second test at Croke Park, says that the GAA players have had to adapt slightly to the ball too.

He explained that it’s not quite the same dimensions as a regular O’Neill’s football and has therefore required some adaptation from Anthony Tohill’s squad members.

“Kicking is difficult for a number of reasons,” said Reilly.

“The ball is different than what we are used to because it is not an O’Neill’s ball and it is slightly lighter and smaller.

“I know it’s totally different for the Australians, but we had to get used to the new ball too.”

He admitted that his own kicking and distribution must improve at Croke Park if he’s to help Ireland turn a seven-point deficit into a series success.

“I was happy enough with parts of my own performance (in Limerick) but I thought my kicking was a bit wayward at times.”


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