International Rules Shite

Time to call it quits on the International Rules series do you think? I have been a fan of the series since the start, I always thought there was great potential to create a wonderful spectacle of mixed rules football; the best of the Irish against the best of the Aussies; a chance to show the talent of our amateurs pitted against the superior strength & fitness of the AFL’s professionals. But year after year it has been a disappointment, and this year was the pits. Here are a few of the things which piss me off:

Despite promises to cut down on the violence after lasts year’s shame the AFL/GAA brought in new rules to punish players. Two problems with this; firstly it made for a limp game in Galway as it seems players were struggling with the concept that you can tackle someone without bursting them; secondly when there was violence as in today’s first quarter the referees seemed to forget the rules so no one was punished. How many years have the GAA/AFL being organising these games yet haven’t been able to create a game without violence? Will they ever get the formula right? I’m beginning to doubt they will.

And let us not forget that some of today’s thugs were Irish. Violence has long been part of Gaelic football. Until the GAA is able to weed out the violence in their own game I don’t think they have the ability, even with the help of the AFL, to weed it out of International Rules.

Jesus H Christ but the GAA are serious fucking whingers. How many times have we seen fights in Gaelic football games? Too many to mention. Bullying and intimidation by elbowing, poking, shoving or punching have long been a part of Gaelic games at every level and the GAA have ignored it. On many occasions it has led to all out brawls on the field and the GAA have ignored it. So the Aussies throw a few slaps and the GAA starts crying about rough tactics, somehow forgetting the tackles of O’Mahoney and Ryan not to mention Geraghty (who’s a rough cunt anyway) who was reported for rough play after the opening Test.
While The GAA continue to ignore the violence in Gaelic Football they have little right to whinge about it in the International Rules series, especially when its own players are throwing head-butts.

Are Gaelic Football & Aussie Rules even compatible any more?
The commentary team today made a very good point about how Gaelic Football has changed over the years. It’s much more of a short passing game now and maybe that showed today. Is there less emphasis now on kicking or on being good with both feet? Perhaps that’s true though I’m not sure that explains the Aussie’s superiority today.
The big difference for me between the two codes is in off the ball movement and support play. I watch Aussie rules the odd time and it always seemed to be to be a far more flexible game than Gaelic football with better player movement. Perhaps that has simply to do with the shape of the pitch, our rectangular pitch leading to more structured style of play? That’d be my guess anyway.

Although I love the concept of the International Rules series I’m really starting to think it will never be possible to achieve the goal of finding the magic formula which merges two great games to create the compromise exhibition so many people crave. The game today was absolute shite, we had dirty play, fighting, an awful and embarrassing performance from the Irish team, no atmosphere worth talking about in Croke Park and even less in my living room and a whole lot of hypocritical whinging from the GAA. Time to consign the International Rules series to the history books in my opinion. We tried it, it didn’t work. Let’s concentrate on our own game and try to clean up Gaelic Football.

From the AFL ‘s review of today’s game:

“And for all the cynics out there about this series – all you need to do is come to a Croke Park Test match and your view will be changed forever.”

Considering so many people were leaving Croke Part before the final quarter i’d say today’s game changed quite a few minds forever.

Leave a comment


  1. I’d agree completely with the violence, the opening quarter was just sickening.
    The series has run its course. This really should be the end of it.

    I completely disagree with the Whinging you’re painting every single GAA player as a violent thug here, did you watch Marc Ó Sé yesterday, the man was being beating black & blue but never raised his fists.
    The fact is that it was an embarrassment of a game has very little skill, is slow moving, start stop etc because of the violence and ” marks”.

    Just to note I was also a big fan of the series, but my mind was made up about it after 5 mins of that shite yesterday.

  2. Mo dhuine
    No, I didn’t intend to imply it was every single GAA player as we know it’s not the case. What i’m sick of is some GAA lads blaming the Aussies for all the thuggery but ignoring the fact that some of our own lads deserved to be sent off yesterday. It’s hypocritical.

  3. I have been scanning the Irish blogs on this topic and I think you are the man with the most common sense in all of Ireland!

    Geez, can’t some of your blokes whinge!

    Your views on the rules are interesting. I think most people here is Australia think the rules are in your favour as IR uses your ball and your pitch. Try kicking and catching an AFL footy some time.

    I wish they could get rid of the violence as well. Maybe your players should check out the inside of the gym some time to make the fighting fairer! The Aussies can’t be blamed for finishing what you guys start. We don’t head butt over here!

  4. Hi “Aus”

    “can’t some of your blokes whinge!”

    we can certainly whinge. I think the perception has always been that it’s the Aussies who bring most of the aggression to the game (as evidenced in the tunnel before the game even starts for example). Whether that’s true or not is debatable.

    “I think most people here is Australia think the rules are in your favour as IR uses your ball and your pitch”

    Well the round ball is easier to adapt to than the oval. In fairness is there a young fella in Australia who has never kicked a round ball? As for the pitch it’s a practical issue.
    One thing that falls in your favour is the tackling. Your players are well used to tough tackling, ours aren’t. It’s illegal in Gaelic Football to tackle the player.
    Plus your players are pros so their physical conditioning is much better. Our lads only train after a hard day’s work.

    “The Aussies can’t be blamed for finishing what you guys start.”

    True, but the Aussies can be blamed for what they start. Did you watch the games last year for example?

  5. p.s. “We don’t head butt over here!”

    “Demon star Brad Green can take an early guilty plea and have his three-match suspension reduced to only one game following his headbutt on Fremantle’s Ryan Crowley”

    AFL Website: Mooney to contest headbutt charge

    In fairness now, you have your own discipline problems in the AFL, be honest. Part of the problem here seems to be that each side is too quick to blame the other. Perhaps you can examine the conduct of your own players before criticising ours. I’d hope we would do the same.

  6. whinge!

    It was a clear pre planned tactic by the Australian team to start the game violently and unsettle the Irish.
    Which they did and it worked for them. I seen with my own eyes the Australians starting every single fight.

    “Maybe your players should check out the inside of the gym some time to make the fighting fairer”

    that’s great, you know what, if that’s what International Rules means than it really is a stinking pile of f*@king shite.
    Beef up for the fight mates.
    But its funny how ye wouldn’t carry on like that in the AFL due to the heavy penalties that is received for violent behavior, fair enough a bit of rough an tumble but what was seen on Sunday was only comparable to the UFC.

    I REALLY wish the Irish lads had taken the option to forfeit the game after the first quarter, as was offered to them.

  7. well hopefully we’ll never have to suffer through the same shite ever again.

  8. “Demon star Brad Green can take an early guilty plea and have his three-match suspension reduced to only one game following his headbutt on Fremantle’s Ryan Crowley”

    The problem here is the press. If that was a headbutt then my name’s nancy – that was no “liverpool kiss” – infact, most over here laughed at how lame it was as a physical intimidation attempt. That’s the thing with AFL – they are soooo ticky, touchwood on all these little things.. but someone having their season ended by a bone-crunching hip’n'shoulder is fine because it’s fair within the rules to bump.

    Thanks for this post mate… this was probably the fairest writing on the topic I’ve seen online.

    At the end of the day they are both contact sports… what you guys play as normal over there (in terms of contact) is different to what we play as normal and vice-versa. I mean our guys get rewarded with free-kicks and pats on the back from the coach for laying effective tackles. And it only stands to reason, given the goal of a “Tackle”, that the harder the hit (so long as it is legal) the more “effective” it will be.

    I love the international series.. it adds something new and exciting to watch when the home AFL season is over and we’re stuck with nothing after weeks and weeks of games… And I like the blend of both sports as a mix. I’d be incredibly disappointed to see the series end due to a bit of hot-blooded competitive-ness.

    Anything I’ve seen in the IR series is less hardcore than what we see every weekend here on tele… I mean… seriously, you put a bunch of competitive blokes on a football field and tell them to go for a win.. then you’re going to get some physicality… I’d hate to see either of our sports progress to the “Oscar-award-winning-diving” of soccer….

    Don’t get me wrong.. I do not condone cheap shots or full on brawls on the field.. but surely, as men, the irish and the aussies can both handle some shoving, tackles and bumps… It is a blending of BOTH sports – and well hard tackling is very, very much a part of our sport… and no one here wants that to change…. I mean watching a fantastic chase and effective tackle is pure excitement!!

  9. Nancy
    “what you guys play as normal over there (in terms of contact) is different to what we play as normal and vice-versa”

    True, but our problem is not with hard tackling, it’s with dangerous tackling. Our lads are hardy enough, they can take the hard tackles but being knocked unconscious with a dangerous challenge is another thing altogether.

    “And I like the blend of both sports as a mix”

    I thought it was boring as fuck this year though, It was played at a very slow pace and I had to force myself to sit through it, especially the first game in Galway. I won’t miss it to be honest.

    “seriously, you put a bunch of competitive blokes on a football field and tell them to go for a win.. then you’re going to get some physicality”

    The games have never been played in a spirit of friendship like they should. Even before the game players are riled up, their focus seems to be less on playing a good exhibition game and more on hurting the opposition. I don’t get the point of that to be honest.

  10. Yeah Maca,

    Fair points there. Unfortunately, they televised the games where I am too late at night for me to see them this year… so I really don’t feel overly qualified to comment on the dangerous tackles. They don’t normally do overly dangerous tackles over here… but occasionally a bit sling will come out or similar (from what i can determine from the press – this may have been what happened)… although, the “head over the ball – first to it” mentality our players have, has seen some serious neck injuries this year.

    The point I agree with the most is the “friendly” game. The press sorta blows it up here as more of “Aus v Ireland” rather than a friendly, but I’m sure from memory that was the game’s origins, and also to promote both codes a little… so you’ve hit the nail on the head there.

    love and kisses,