Australia 2-13-12 (63) Ireland 1-13-8 (53)

Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Joe Kernan's Ireland team are still in with a chance of retaining the Cormac McAnallen Cup but they will have to show a marked improvement in an even hotter Perth next week if they are to overturn a 10-point deficit.

Despite the tight pitch at the Adelaide Oval, the stifling 34 degree heat took its toll on the Irish, who wilted in the second half - losing the third quarter 22-8 as they struggled to cope with Australia's dominant big men Nat Fyfe and Ben Brown.

Ireland won the final quarter 18-13 to make sure the series is still in the mixer as the weakened Irish party head for the West Coast.

With Pearce Hanley suffering a hand injury in the first half, an already illness-depleted Irish squad was further weakened and the heat really began to take its toll as fewer replacements were possible.

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It is hard to imagine where Ireland would be without the Ulster pairing of Michael Murphy and Conor McManus - the two forwards carrying the scoring burden on their shoulders.

Monaghan star McManus kicked a phenomenal seven overs and afterwards he spoke to RTÉ's Marty Morrissey. Insisting the heat was not that big a factor, the Clontibret clubman said he was confident Ireland could turn it round on the hotter West Coast next weekend.

"It is a big lead but on the other hand it is just three overs and we are back in the game," said McManus. "I fully believe we can claw that back."

Ireland started well, leading after the first 20 minutes by 15 points to 14, with the long-kicking game favoured by Kernan paying dividends.

That lead was stretched to 10 in the second quarter when Murphy got on the end of a beautiful move started by Galway's Shane Walsh and carried on by Paul Geaney and Hanley.

Australia reeled-in Ireland thanks to good overs from the near unmanageable pairing of Brown and Fyfe, and went in at the half-time hooter one point to the good, 28-27.

Ireland seemed a shadow of themselves in the third quarter and when Fyfe hit a beautiful looping shot across Niall Morgan for Australia's first goal of the game it began to look ominous.

The visitors were struggling to avoid the energetic Australian tacklers and goalkeeper Brendan Goddard was doing a wonderful job of sweeping whenever Ireland tried to pump the ball long in the direction of Murphy, McManus or Geaney.

The deficit was 15 at the end of the third quarter and the Series was threatening to get away from Ireland. However, despite another Australian goal from the boot of Luke Shuey, Ireland kept the deficit to 10 thanks to overs from Geaney, Murphy and that man McManus again.

Australia: Brendon Goddard, Zach Merrett (Essendon), Eddie Betts, Rory Laird, Rory Sloane (Adelaide), Dayne Zorko (Brisbane), Kade Simpson (Carlton), Nat Fyfe (Fremantle), Patrick Dangerfield, Joel Selwood (Geelong), Shaun Burgoyne, Jack Gunston (Hawthorn), Michael Hibberd, Neville Jetta (Melbourne), Robbie Tarrant, Ben Brown (N. Melbourne), Travis Boak, Paddy Ryder, Chad Wingard (Port Adelaide), Luke Shuey (West Coast).

Ireland: Niall Morgan (Tyrone), Chris Barrett (Mayo), Killian Clarke (Cavan), Eoin Cadogan (Cork), Peter Crowley (Kerry), Pearce Hanley (Mayo/Gold Coast), Brendan Harrison (Mayo), Kevin Feely (Kildare), Karl O'Connell (Monaghan), Paul Murphy (Kerry), Aidan O'Shea (Mayo), Zach Tuohy (Laois/Geelong) Gary Brennan (Clare), Niall Grimley (Armagh), Sean Powter (Cork), Niall Sludden (Tyrone), Conor Sweeney (Tipperary), Shane Walsh (Galway), Conor McManus (Monaghan), Michael Murphy (Donegal)

Referees: Matt Stevic (Australia), Maurice Deegan (Ireland).