Round 2 Ireland v Sweden report
Below is my report on yesterday’s game
Ireland v Sweden Bus Loop Oval, Moore Park, Sydney 2pm 17/08
Ireland 15.12. 102 Sweden 1.0 6.
Ireland started phase two of the International Cup 2011against Sweden this
afternoon in the shadow of the Sydney Cricket Ground. Sydney Swan and Kerryman, Tadgh Kennelly took time out from training to offer words of encouragement to the Warriors and the men in green put in an impressive display in a one sided game. Sweden had qualified for Division one of the competition after defeating India in the seeding round on Saturday and entered the game having lost Monday’s first Round 2 encounter against neighbours Denmark. Ireland started firm favourites after dominating their seeding round group.
The Irish Warriors welcomed Melbourne based David Stynes and 2008 player of the tournament Mick Finn into the team for the first time and their talent and experience was noticed from the first ball up. Darwin based Dub, Larry Kavanagh got his first start of the tournament in the ruck and he dominated his opponent in this area. It was a damp day in Sydney, but it wasn’t a hindrance to the Warriors. Newly arrived David Stynes got the first goal after good work from Kerryman Mick Finn. John Enright continued his good form from Saturday kicking the next two goals, the first a snapped kick from 50 metres and the second after a mark from 25 metres he kicked through.
From the next centre bounce a tap from Larry Kavanagh say the ball flow up the field through Brendan Nannery’s hands to fellow Westmeath man Paul Sharry. Sharry scored a fine goal on the run from the left of centre. UTS Bats player Fearghal Purcell then goaled from a low shot that skidded over the line. John Tiernay finished off the first quarter with his first goal of the game after good work from John Enright and James Flavin. At quarter time the score was 6.2 38 to 0.0 0.
The second quarter opened with a goal from Richmond Tiger’s bound half back John Heslin who was having a fine game. Sweden got their only score of the game in this quarter when they goaled from the boot of Helsingborg Saints player Robin Nilsson. Manus Breathnach then scored two goals and Ger Walls got his first of the game to leave the half time score 10.4 64 to 1.0 6. There wasn’t much that could be said in the half-time team talk as at this stage Ireland were dominating in every line of the field.
The third quarter open with a strong tackle on Warriors forward Darren Sheils that took him out for the rest of the game. South Dublin Swan James O’Byrne then goaled followed by a Ferghal Purcell goal after he picked up a bouncing ball. The quarter was closed out with behinds from UTS Bats players Barry Holland and Ferghal Purcell. Three quarter time score 12.10 82 to 1.0 6. Although the weather conditions hadn’t changed quarter by quarter there was a drop off in the Warriors scoring rate as the game progressed.
On the fourth quarter restart big Kerryman Mick Finn won yet another tap. The Swedes were finding it very difficult at this stage and were attempting damage limitation tactics using a flood defence. However it was having limited effect with Ireland kicking another three goals in this quarter from the boots of Ferghal Purcell, Fergal McManus and Manas Breathnach. UTS Bats player David Coffey was yellow carded and had to sit out the game in the sin bin but it had no impact on the game with the score at the final hooter 15.12. 102 to 1.0 6.
What this result means for Ireland is that another win on Saturday against Denmark will guarantee a semi final spot. At this stage the opposition is unknown but with New Zealand beating Great Britain 100 to 2, South Africa beating Japan 92 to 10 and PNG beating Tonga 119 to 2 there is going to be some hot games come semi finals day next Wednesday in the Royal Park in Melbourne.
After the game Sweden’s head coach Daniel McClaer thought his team tried hard for the four quarters although he thought the wet conditions did not suit his boys. Of the Irish, he thought they were a big team and they moved the ball well in the wet.
Goal kickers: R Nilsson
Best players: P Persson, C Fager, C Martensson, H Olsson, T Persson, T Stahl
Goal kickers: F Purcell 3, M Breathnach 3, J Enright 2, P Sharry, G Walls, J O’Byrne, J Heslin, F McManus, D Stynes, J Tierney
Best players: P Sharry, S McGuinness, D Stynes, M Finn, B Nannery, G Walls