Preview: International Rules Series First Test
Sunday November 12
EirGrid International Rules Series
Australia v Ireland, Adelaide Oval, 5.10am (Irish Time)
Similar to the First Test in every International Rules Series since 1998 an element of uncertainty surrounds Sunday's encounter.
What style will the respective teams adopt? Can Ireland plunder goals? How swiftly will Australia move the ball. Will the Australians opt for an early aerial bombardment.
How Ireland cope with the altitude deliveries promises to be a key factor, but there is a nice mix of pace and power in the visitors panel.
That is always particularly important in this game, speed of thought and movement. The defence is sprinkled with accomplished Gaelic Football man markers, but the dynamism of Paul Murphy and Sean Powter shouldn't be underestimated.
Elsewhere Kevin Feely is a fielder of particular renown, while Aidan O'Shea and Enda Smith are expected to move between midfield and attack.
Delivering scores on Ireland's trips into Australian territory will be vital. Conor Sweeney, Paul Geaney, Niall Murphy, and Conor McManus are precise finishers; Shane Walsh, Niall Grimley, and Niall Sludden will need to ensure the supply being driven inside is quality.
At the opposite end Niall Morgan's restarts will be pivotal. Ensuring Ireland get out of their own defence briskly is critical considering Australia can be be physical and intense.
Australia have opted to use experienced Essendon player Brendon Goddard as their goalkeeper.
"One of our advantages is being physical, as they don’t have that in their game, while they have the skills with the round ball," Goddard told afl.com.
"But we do need to try to influence the game with our physicality."
Geelong's Chris Scottn is coaching Australia, who have gathered in Adelaide since Thursday.
Patrick Dangerfield and Nat Fyfe are among the stars in an Australian panel featuring several newcomers to the Series.
This will be the first time since 2013 when Ireland won convincingly that two matches will be used to determine the victor.
Australia won a one off series in 2014 before Ireland responded by securing victory at Croke Park a year later.
Ireland struck three goals in that tussle and it is something Joe Kernan's charges will be especially keen to emulate once more.