Ireland kicked off their 2011 International Cup campaign in Blacktown, Sydney on Saturday. It was a hot day for what is supposed to be winter with sunscreen and thongs required. The first Irish game was against Timor Leste. They are novices at Aussie Rules and it showed in their style of play and the final score. Ireland ran all over them winning 93 to 0 in a game that boosted Ireland’s score percentage and gave the goal kickers lots of practice with 14 goals being scored in the short length 30 minutes seeding round games.
The second game was against Great Britain, this was expected to be a more competitive encounter. GB opened well tackling hard and putting the Warriors under pressure but soon Ireland took control and again had an easy 54 to 6 victory.
After all the games were played the second round draw was made. Ireland have been drawn against Sweden and Denmark. We seem to be able to attract all our near neighbours in this tournament having beaten Denmark in last year’s European Championship final. I saw a little bit of Sweden in Blacktown on Saturday against New Zealand. They lost to the Hawks but they were well organised and have some handy players. Denmark are probably stronger and they beat Sweden in the seeding round last Saturday. Ireland will play them at 4pm on Saturday in Blacktown.
I had time to have a quick look at Papua New Guinea, they look strong and skilful and look like they’ll be a real handful. I didn’t see South Africa but they topped their group so they must also be strong. So the first steps have been taken to the MCG, more exciting footy to follow.
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