Monday, October 27, 2008

International rules football

International Rules Match 24th Oct.

As everybody out of my hostel was going to the GAA / Aussi Rules football game I thought I would grab a ticket and head over myself.

First I shall give a quick explanation to those who nothing about these games (eg ME!)

GAA - Gaelic football is a game played only in Ireland and is a sort of cross between rugby and soccer. Its played with a round ball on a and has goal posts which look exactly like a set of rugby posts with a soccer net attached at the bottom. you get 1 point if the ball goes through the upright posts and 3 points if you manage to put the ball into the net. Its played everywhere in Ireland and is a completely amateur sport.

Aussi rules is played on an oval pitch - usually a cricket pitch with an oblong ball similar to a rugby or american football. At each end of the pitch are 4 upright posts. (I think) you score 1 point if the ball goes through the outside posts and 6 points if the ball goes through the inner posts. Its played by professionals in certain parts of Australia.

Some bright spark some years ago thought it would be a good idea to have a challenge matches between the two games but to create rules made from both sports. Thus the international rules matches were born.

They play with a round ball like in GAA and on a rectangle pitch like in GAA. Instead of having the GAA posts or the Aussi posts they have a combination of both! So you score 1 point if it goes through the outer aussi rules posts, 3 points if it goes over the GAA net and 6 points if it goes into the GAA net.

Last year the games were held in Ireland and there was so much violence between the two teams that they were threatening to abandon the competition altogether.

I like just about every other Irish person in Perth went to the games. I would say out of a crowd of 37,000 at least 20,000 were Irish. That will give you an idea of just how many Irish there are in this city.

The game itself was exciting and close. In the first quarter Ireland dominated. Then in the second Quarter the Aussis came back and both sides went in with 19 points each at half time. It was the same story in the second half. Ireland went ahead in the 3rd Quarter then the Aussis came back to within a point in the fourth quarter. By this stage the amateur Irish were just about out on their feet and were playing some stupid time wasting which even their own supporters started booing (well I did anyway!). The Irish held on to win 45 to 44. I did hear the next day that the Irish players - being Irish were out on the town the night before the game getting Merrily wasted.

They have a rematch next week - in Melbourne I think.

As I mentioned in a previous post my weather jinx has arrived in Perth - 1 week late. It had been raining off and on all day including at half time during the game. But it wasn't until after the game that the heavens decided to open up and produce I full scale thunder storm complete with monsoon like rain. It was in this weather - in a tee shirt that I and all the other supporters had to make their way back to the city centre.

Every pub along the way was full to the brim with Irish celebrating the result and trying to get out of the rain. It was just like being back in Dublin. I actually decided just to go back to the hostel and have a couple of pints there before retiring to bed!

I know, a Friday night after a big game with loads of drinking to be done and I go home!

No comments: