On a Sunday afternoon when it’s 32 degrees the last thing you’d expect to see is a hybrid game of International Rules between the Irish Gaelic team and a team of AFL stars being played at Adelaide Oval.
However, 25,000 people braved the cricket like conditions and came out to support the best players of each of the participating countries could put together. The Australians came out on top by ten points in the end, but you’d have to suggest the weather and the more physical nature of the game took its toll on the Irish.
All Australian field umpire Matt Stevic was chosen to represent the AFL in it’s two test series. In Adelaide, he was joined by boundary umpires, Mark Thomson, Matt Konetschka and Jason Moore. It was interesting to see our boundary umpires using a flag to indicate the direction of play with a last touch out of bounds penalising the team. Down at the goal mouth you saw our 4 goal umpires dressed in long socks and shorts. While veteran goalie, Steve Axon doesn’t think the trend will become common place in winter the goal umpires were pleased to wear the uniform in the 32 degree heat.
Dan Hoskin, Peter Challen, Steve Axon were reunited with former SA goal umpire Michael Palm who is now umpiring AFL football out of Melbourne.
Of course our Irish colleagues, Maurice and Connor are also enjoying the Australian experience.