Friday 9 December 2016

Off The Ball: Downsized Rules series doesn't cut it anymore

Colm Parkinson

Published 25/11/2015 | 02:30

We need a monster like Barry Hall involved to help revive the series. (Stock Photo)
We need a monster like Barry Hall involved to help revive the series. (Stock Photo)

The International Rules game on Saturday night seems to have received a positive reaction from most quarters.

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We know the players love it. I was lucky enough to be involved in 1998 when the series resumed and loved the game. That was my only experience playing for Ireland and it's something I'm very proud of. I was called in for trials the next couple of years but was playing football in America and then, unfortunately, the invitations dried up.

However, my enjoyment watching the game has diminished. There is just something missing now. The rivalry between the two countries has gone and the game is a bit too sanitised.

Watching Ireland beat a similar-sized Australian team, who cannot kick the ball properly, doesn't really do it for me. Returning to two games will help. The Aussies don't take losing very well and usually up their intensity for the second leg.

Unfortunately, the aura around the Australian team seems to have gone along with their 6 '8" ruckmen. We also need a monster like Barry Hall or a pantomime villain like Jason Akermanis involved to help revive the series.

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