Kernan says it's still all to play for

November 12, 2017

Ireland manager Joe Kernan.
©INPHO/Tommy Dickson.

Joe Kernan insists Ireland can still win the International Rules series, despite succumbing to a 10-point defeat in sweltering Adelaide this morning.

The result leaves Australia in the box seat heading into next Saturday's second and final Test in Perth, but Kernan believes the series is far from over.

"Naturally it's disappointing to lose any match," the Ireland manager is quoted as saying in the Irish Times.

"We started off well and went 10 points up in the second quarter and didn't capitalise on it. The good things we'd been doing that got us where we were, we stopped doing them. We gave a lot of ball away.

"In fairness, Australia started to dominate around the middle of the field but we still made silly mistakes. In saying that, the week we had with the illness and injuries, I'm very proud of the players and the way they finished the game.

"Unlucky that we might have been a wee bit closer. We had a couple of chances late on to get a goal that might have helped us, but it is what it is. It's 10 points and the game's not over."

Kernan confirmed that Pearce Hanley - who was one of those in the Irish camp to be laid low with a vomiting bug during the week - will miss the second Test after sustaining a broken hand in the second quarter.

"Yeah, Pearce is out and he was doing very well for a man that had just come in. It's disappointing for him and us, but hopefully we'll get somebody out in the next day or two. He did it in the second quarter. The doctor thinks at the moment it's a broken hand."

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