Pace give Aussies the edge: Burgoyne - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pace give Aussies the edge: Burgoyne

By Justin Chadwick 22/10/2008 06:41:58 PM Comments (0)

Shaun Burgoyne says pace rather than power will give Australia the advantage over Ireland in Friday night's International Rules clash at Subiaco Oval.

Australian selectors opted for a slick and skilful squad for the hybrid series, with the likes of Burgoyne, David Rodan, Matt Campbell, Roger Hayden, Daniel Wells, Nathan Foley and Dale Thomas providing plenty of dash.

"It would be interesting to see if we had a 100m sprint race because everyone seems to be quick," Port Adelaide star Burgoyne said.

"So that's obviously going to be an advantage of ours and we want to take that into the game whether we are on the attack and we're running down the field with the ball or we're chasing them from behind to tackle them.

"Everybody brings that X-factor to the team, whether they can jump or they've got exceptional speed or they're great at tackling.

"We've got a number of hard players as well.

"It's just a great thing to play with these players because you want to play with the best players in the comp."

Burgoyne said the team had gelled well, especially the large indigenous contingent.

"A few of the indigenous boys have played together in the All Stars game so we are pretty good friends already and the boys bring a lot of speed and excitement to the game and hopefully they can do that on the weekend for Australia," he said.

David Rodan, who is of Fijian descent and a teammate of Burgoyne's at Port Adelaide, said the Aboriginal players would give Australia a crucial edge.

"A lot of the indigenous blokes in our team are very creative and a lot of Gaelic's about one on one contests and they seem to thrive on it and they are very much looking forward to playing," Rodan said.

But with the first Test just two days away, Rodan admitted the Australian players knew little about their Irish opponents.

"All we know is they're pretty elusive, very fast and they've got a big forward they've included," Rodan said.

"That's pretty much it at the moment but we are just trying to concentrate on ourselves.

"We've got a pretty young group and a lot of guys are still making their way in the game.

"We don't normally get to play at this level so a lot of boys want to show their wares."

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