VICTORIOUS Ireland boss Anthony Tohill claimed his team had produced the perfect game as they demolished Australia not once but twice in the Compromise Rules series.
Tohill and players flew home with the Cormac McAnallen Trophy after they followed their 44 point win in Melbourne with another emphatic 50-29 victory in the second test on Friday night. The Gold Coast win saw Ireland take the series on a 130-65 aggregate score in front of just over 12,000 fans last weekend.
“Tonight was all about winning and it didn’t matter whether it was by a point or 21 points. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think that we won every quarter in both games so we couldn’t ask for any more from our players. They were fantastic again,” said Derry native Tohill.
“Nothing beats playing the game and I was lucky enough to have captained Ireland in 2001 to a Test series win. But that performance last Friday night in Melbourne was, I thought, the most complete performance that I saw from any Irish team.”
The Aussies raised the physical stakes on Friday after their comprehensive defeat in the opening game as a number of clashes threatened to turn ugly in a game which saw three players from each side sin-binned.
“It’s a very, very fine line. For a while tonight I thought it was going to boil over,” added Ireland boss Tohill.
“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. We welcome the physical side of the game. We don’t get it in our own game, so we welcome it here, but it has to be within the rules.”
Kerryman Tadhg Kennelly brought the curtain down on his Aussie sporting career with a key role in the Irish win, then dedicated to those suffering from the collapse of the Celtic Tiger back home in Ireland.
Kennelly said, “It’s a very, very difficult time at home. It’s something we talked about, trying to get a bit of pride back in Ireland.
“We tried to bring a bit of happiness and give people a few minutes not to worry about what’s going on outside of the house. We wanted to give them pride in the people who come from their clubs and their counties.”
CROKE Park bosses are adamant that the 2013 Compromise Rules series will go ahead in Ireland despite the apathy of the Australian public.
Crowds were poor in Melbourne and on the Gold Coast as Anthony Tohill’s Ireland side blew away their Aussie Rules opponents in the hybrid game.
Many pundits have questioned the future of the series, but the GAA’s director general Paraic Duffy is confident the next series will go ahead after meeting with his Aussie counterpart Andrew Demetriou ahead of the second test.
“He (Demetriou) said their season was longer than usual this year,” Duffy told the Irish Examiner. “He said there was a certain element of fatigue due to their games. They put it back a week, and that didn’t help.
“They should have played the first Test here on the Gold Coast and the second game in Melbourne.
With the Rugby World Cup and the Melbourne Cup they found it very hard to get their voices heard in terms of media exposure. They spent the same amount on promotion as they did in previous years.
“He accepted that the team didn’t have enough star names. That was a factor. That was the biggest factor in terms of the crowd but they are absolutely committed to the Series.
“He said the players do want to play in it. We have agreed that they we going to play it on a two-year cycle again. He says they are absolutely committed to it and I would accept his word on that. It is going to go ahead. We need to get Central Council approval on that but we will get that.”
Meath legend Sean Boylan, who managed the Ireland side in the 2006 and 2008 series, believes the Compromise Rules tests should continue.
“I think it’s terribly important all officials in the association keep in contact with their players and what it means to the players,” said Boylan
“It is a massive outlet for them. It’s like Katie Taylor last week winning her European gold. We’re all as proud as punch of her and I’d think long and hard before I’d dismiss that. I think it’s a marvelous opportunity for the lads to represent their country.
“I never saw an Irish team play as well as they did last week. I thought they were amazing.”