Joe Kernan confirms Pearce Hanley is out of second Test

‘With illness and injuries, I’m very proud of the players and how they finished the game’

Ireland’s Aidan O’Shea and manager Joe Kernan after the first Test on Sunday. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland’s Aidan O’Shea and manager Joe Kernan after the first Test on Sunday. Photograph: Inpho

 

Having taken the best that Australia could throw at him two years ago, Joe Kernan became the latest Ireland manager to find back-to-back Test victories elusive when Australia came out on top in the Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

There is the consolation of a second chance in Perth next Saturday and there will be plenty to consider after a decisive first-test defeat.

“Naturally it’s disappointing to lose any match,” he said. “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.”

With the team hotel becoming an infirmary in the lead-up to the test, the effect of the illness was that neither Enda Smith nor Niall Murphy was able to play any part in the match and whereas another of those affected, Pearce Hanley, did get the go-ahead he picked up an injury, which will keep him out of the re-engagement in Perth.

“Yeah, Pearce is out,” said the Ireland manager, “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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