Thursday 27 June 2019

Kernan: There's more in this Ireland squad


Ireland manager Joe Kernan with captain Aidan O’Shea. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Ireland manager Joe Kernan with captain Aidan O’Shea. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Joe Kernan is facing the major challenge of relocating a magic touch in the international arena next Saturday.

His managerial career won't be defined by whether Ireland beat Australia on aggregate in the International Rules series but if he were to locate a way out of a very difficult situation it would rank as a crowning glory for a great career.

Ireland will take a ten-point deficit into the second test in Perth and, while clawing it back is an achievable target in a game where a goal and an 'over' are worth nine points between them, the Irish performance will need to be a whole lot more consistent than last Sunday.

"We all know there's more in this squad. Getting it out of them and winning the series is what we're all about now. We'll take it on and have a real go," said Kernan.

A cold analysis of Sunday's 63-53 defeat is uncomfortable for the Irish squad, except perhaps for the consolation that if they had cut out errors, they would have taken a lead out of the Adelaide Oval.

"There were things we did well and then we stopped doing them. That's the disappointing part," said Kernan.

"It's great to have another game next Saturday. If it was one Test only, we'd be on the plane home soon enough and sickened," said Kerry's Paul Geaney.

"We've a lot to work on - we know that," said Cavan's Killian Clarke.

The Irish squad left Adelaide yesterday in a state of frustration at the end of a difficult few days.

losing two players, Enda Smith (Roscommon) and Niall Murphy (Sligo) with stomach sickness was a setback and, with some others suffering from a milder version of the bug, Ireland needed everything to go right for them on match day.

Instead, they lost Pearce Hanley with a hand injury in the second quarter.

Hanley was also been hit by the stomach bug but had recovered sufficiently to play.

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