Saturday 21 September 2019

Banishing third-quarter blues vital for tourists

Ireland manager Joe Kernan during International Rules squad training. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Ireland manager Joe Kernan during International Rules squad training. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile Sportsdesk

What is it about the third quarter of International Rules games?

It has been a troublesome period for Ireland on several occasions and rarely more so than last Sunday when they were outscored 22-8.

It left them facing a perilous situation from which they recovered impressively in the final quarter to finish ten points adrift and still in with a chance of winning the series.

The final-quarter performance was impressive, making the third quarter fade-out all the more frustrating. Manager Joe Kernan can't figure out why it happened but then it's a long-standing issue which preceded him and this squad.

"You prepare as best you can but things don't always go to plan. The positive we could take out of it was that the lads didn't let a disappointing third quarter get to them," said Kernan.


Zach Tuohy said there's no point stressing over what happened in the third quarter last Sunday.

"You can't afford blow-outs in any quarter - it's as simple as that. We addressed it - we know what we did wrong and hopefully it won't happen again. It (third quarter) will be a focus but no more than the other three quarters. They are all equally important," said the Geelong-based Laois man.

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With Ireland ten points down, the initial focus will be very much on a good first quarter but Tuohy warned against panicking if it doesn't come.

"Of course we'd like a good start but it's a long game so if we concede the first few scores , we'll keep going. We have to stay calm, whatever happens" he said.

Ireland will be keeping a close watch on the pitch dimensions, having felt that it was very narrow in Adelaide last Sunday.

"We'd prefer it a bit wider," said Kernan.

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