GAA Football

Every game is a made-up game: Geaney defends International Rules

Ireland's Paul Geaney in action in the second test in Perth Picture by Inpho
From Cahair O'Kane in Perth

“PEOPLE say it’s a made up game, but every game is a made-up game.”

Paul Geaney there, hitting the nail fairly squarely on the head. While the International Rules has, and always will have, more than its share of critics, its entertainment value over the past two weeks could not be questioned.

“It’s an incredible game. I love it, I really do love it. It’s hard and it’s get a lot of bad press. Just because it’s on a couple of times every few years... the Ashes is the same.

“People say it’s a made-up game but every game is a made-up game. I like playing it, I like the physicality. You could blow out of proportion what happened at half-time but that was just the physicality of it.

“People might say it’s a bit of craic and a free trip for the lads but when two competitive teams go head-to-head everyone is going to give their best.

“The series defeat does put a dampener on the trip but we held our heads high after that. We probably should have won the game but we had to push forward to try and win the series. It was a great experience.”

The Kerry man didn’t have the easiest of series’, with Joe Kernan’s preference for Conor McManus as his finisher and Michael Murphy as the target man inside.

It left the two-time Allstar on the periphery of the scoring zone and, as such, he registered just one three-pointer across two tests.

The logic behind Kernan’s thinking wasn’t hard to decipher. Geaney has made an artform out of coming on the loop to score in Gaelic football but in a game that carries a much greater reward for winning ball inside, Ireland were always going to go with ball-winners first.

“I enjoyed it but in this game you want to be picking up scoreable marks. I thought I was in good positions but I found it hard to make it available to guys who were under pressure in the middle.

“You really have to be clever if you want a scoreable mark and the boys were just under incredible pressure coming out the field.

“We also applied more of a running game and that seemed to work. Even at the half-time buzzer, if there was one more second we were in again.

“If Michael Murphy was allowed, he would have slipped the ball inside to where myself and McManus had ran. I was in possession and myself or McManus would have put it in the back of the net but that’s the way it goes.”

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