GAA Football

Darragh Ó Sé defends International Rules series after brother's criticism

2017 International Rules Series - First Test, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, Australia 12/11/2017.Australia vs Ireland.Ireland take on refreshments .Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson.
From Cahair O'Kane in Perth

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DARRAGH Ó Sé has defended the International Rules series after his brother Marc referred to it as “a bastardised game with a dodgy past and a non-existent future”.

Writing in his weekly column, Marc Ó Sé also said: “It is not like representing your country at rugby and soccer, where you are playing your game in a global tournament which you know matters.

“We were playing a makey-up game two times a year and against the same opponents every time. That’s not just a poor man’s version of international sport, that’s a desperate man’s version.”

Darragh, the eldest of the famous trio of Kerry brothers, hadn’t seen Marc’s comments when he spoke after the first Test in Adelaide on Sunday, but labelled the series ‘a huge success’.

“When you stand back from it and look at it, I think it was a good game of football. You’re touring with guys from other counties and provinces and lads you wouldn’t normally be in touch with it.

“They’re a great bunch of lads and this showcases their talents. Conor Sweeney kicked a great score and different lads shone through.

“There will be some lads who will feel they didn’t play as well as they normally can but that’s in the bag for them next week. Can they bring on their game to the level that’s required?

“I think all round it has been a huge success. There were 25,000 at the game and it was poorly advertised. It wasn’t a good sell and then you’ll have a full house in Perth.

“I know a couple of guys from back home who drove five hours from Melbourne to be at the first Test. It’s huge for some people from Ireland and Australia to see it.

“We’re reasonably happy with the way the game went even though we’re 10 points down. It could have been better but we always knew a job would have to be done in Perth with there being two legs.

“We’re just glad to get on the horse and rectify the mistakes we made.”

Ó Sé revealed that Michael Murphy was also struck by the vomiting bug that passed its way around the Ireland squad last week.

The Donegal forward put in a towering display in Adelaide, mostly on the edge of the Australian square, where he and Conor McManus combined to keep Irish hopes alive before Saturday’s second Test in Perth.

Ó Sé, who played twice in the series himself in the early 2000s, said that despite the defeat, said the visiting camp could take a positive mindframe to the west coast.

“Now is not the time to be making excuses but there were lads going down left, right and centre. If you saw the doctor coming you thought you were in trouble yourself.

“It was unusual. I was on tour before and we never got that kind of a beating sickness-wise or even weather-wise. It was a bit of a setback in terms of not having our full squad to pick from.

“Michael Murphy gave a fantastic performance. He wasn’t well at all before the game but he showed up as he always does.

“We had knocks and the stuff like that but I think the game just gone and the week that we have now up to the Perth game will stand to us.

“The lads who haven’t played before will now be able to stand back and say, ‘Hang on a second, these Aussies are no world-beaters’. I think we’re in a good place.”

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