Aussies lose game, take rules series - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aussies lose game, take rules series

By Chris Lines 31/10/2003 10:15:20 PM Comments (0)

Australia fought back from a huge early deficit to clinch the international rules series over Ireland on aggregate despite narrowly losing Friday night's second match at the MCG.

Ireland needed to win by 11 points to overhaul Australia's aggregate lead from the first match in Perth to continue the success of visiting sides in these series.

But despite holding a 21-point lead late in the first quarter, Ireland was worn down by a fitter Australia and won by only three points 2.9.9 (48) to 1.10.9 (45).

It was Australia's first ever home series win since this composite rules event was instigated in the 1980s and revived in the mid-1990s on an annual basis. It was also the time a touring side had failed to win since 1998.

The hero for Australia was new Richmond signing Nathan Brown, who scored three overs in the final quarter as Australia came from 17 points down at the last change.

Australia held a ten-point advantage in aggregate score after winning the first match but was stunned by some brilliant Irish play early.

The advantage from Perth was soon washed away in a torrent of rain and Irish prowess within 12 minutes of the first quarter.

Steven McDonnell and Brian McDonald both hit the back of the net to establish an 18-point lead to Ireland in rapid time.

As the rain abated in the second quarter Australia was better able to combine but could make little inroad into the deficit - not helped by a yellow card to Jade Rawlings - and trailed by 15 points at the main change.

Australia got the break it badly needed when awarded a contentious penalty six minutes into the third quarter for an off-ball foul, and Brent Harvey slotted home to reduce the margin to eight points.

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