Playing sombre music over slo-mo clips of Rory Best’s tears and Joe Schmidt’s ashen face was not the best way of cheering us up after Ireland’s defeat to New Zealand on Saturday. Photograph: Andy Newport/PA Wire

Imagine if rugby had a Roy Keane-ish pundit - that would have been savage

Ireland fans sit dejected in the stand after the Rugby World Cup quarter-final loss to New Zealand. Photo: Issei Kato/Reuters

It might be best to rethink the #Believe slogan after the latest quarter-final tonking

Ireland manager Mick McCarthy with his assistant Robbie Keane after the game. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Familiar foes now stand between Ireland and a place in the Euro 2020 finals

Japan’s Kenki Fukuoka   touches down to score their fourth try against Scotland. Photograph:   Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

All you could do was gorge on host’s display and worry about All Blacks another day

 Tadhg Furlong  in action during the  Rugby World Cup match against Samoa in  Fukuoka. Photograph: Hiroshi Yamamura/EPA

Even Eddie O’Sullivan could see the positives in the seven-try win over Samoa

Greminho, who lost to 56-0 to Flamengo in Rio de Janeiro’s Carioca Championship. ‘The result is just numbers,’ said Greminho player Duda

Aspiring Martas might take hope from plucky Greminho’s humiliating defeat

Galway’s Niamh Kilkenny in action against Kilkenny in the Camogie All-Ireland final. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Kilkenny proved key in Galway’s senior camogie final win, while Davey shined in Dublin’s All-Ireland football triumph

France’s players celebrate with fans after bearing Tonga  at the Kumamoto Stadium in Kumamoto, Japan. Photograph:  Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images

Tonga substitute Fukofuka causes a stir in the commentary box as he enters the fray

Ireland fans celebrate winning in Kobe. Photograph: Jayne Russell/Inpho

‘It was just a terrible performance lads, let’s call it what it is,’ former Ireland coach says

Niamh McEvoy in action for Dublin in the All-Ireland final against Galway. She has now signed for Australian Football League team Melbourne. Photograph Bryan Kean/Inpho

Experienced Dublin duo join Melbourne to brink the number of Irish players in AFLW to 18

An Ireland supporter displays a poster before the  World Cup Pool D match between Australia and Wales at   Tokyo Stadium on Sunday. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP

Mary Hannigan: It’s never easy for our pundits at a time of national crisis like this

Kenki Fukuoka of Japan runs in to o score his side’s first try during the Rugby World Cup Group A game against  Ireland at the  Ecopa  stadium   in  Shizuoka. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Time to get behind Japan after Ireland left face down in a bowl of ramen

Tadhg Furlong knows his way around and through the Corridor of Power on a rugby pitch. Photograph:  Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Mary Hannigan gets some help rucking her way through rugby’s myriad of puzzling lingo

Ireland’s prop Tadhg Furlong reacts after scoring a try during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between Ireland and Scotland at the International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama on September 22, 2019. Photograph:  Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Ireland put on a dreamy Sunday morning show to banish opening day nerves

 RTÉ rugby analyst team and presenters, Eddie O’Sullivan, Stephen Ferris, Jamie Heaslip and Fiona Coughlan. Photograph:   David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Anyone would think there’s history between the RTÉ panellists after the opening skirmish

Tommy Bowe:  will  host the Rugby World Cup coverage on eir Sport where he’ll have a trio of ex-team-mates for company – Gordon D’Arcy, Peter Stringer and Jerry Flannery. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Not just players in Japan facing a stamina-sapping test as viewers prepare for long sit-in

Dublin players celebrate with the Brendan Martin Cup following the All-Ireland Senior Ladies’ Football Championship final between Dublin and Galway, at Croke Park, on Sunday. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Women show know-how in front of record crowd to complete weekend to remember

 Hannah O’Neill scores Dublin’s  second goal during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Final against Galway at Croke Park. Photograph:  Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Sinéad Goldrick and Hannah O’Neill grab goals in rainy low-scoring final

Supporters on Hill 16 shade their eyes against the sun during the All-Ireland final replay between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park. Photograph:   Tom Honan

For now, all of Dublin wants to ‘paaaaaaaarty’ like Ciarán Kilkenny

Niamh Collins reckons that she inherited more of her mother Ailish’s netball genes than those of her grand-uncle, the Manchester United great that was Liam Whelan. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Dublin full back says years of adversity laid path to success for champions

Galway’s Tracey Leonard and Sinead Goldrick of Dublin in a  Division 1 semi-final in Kinnegad, Co Westmeath. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Galway captain says Dublin have raised the standard, and it is up to other teams to get there

Ireland’s Sanita Puspure  at the victory ceremony on September 1st for  the women’s single sculls  at the 2019 World Rowing Championships  in Austria.  Photograph   Naomi Baker/Getty Images

The rower successfully defending her gold medal at the 2019 World Championships in Austria

RTÉ’s panel for this weekend’s All-Ireland SFC final replay will not include Joe Brolly. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Mary Hannigan: Controversial pundit’s absence could make things a lot quieter

Republic of Ireland’s Kevin Long (21) celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of  John Egan against Bulgaria at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: PA

Bulgaria really pushed the boat out by selecting just nine -ovs, including two -evs this time around

The Irish women’s hockey team will play Canada with Olympic qualification on the line. Photograph: Inpho

Irish men’s and women’s hockey teams to play Canada in two-legged qualifier

Galway’s Sarah Dervan and Ailish O’Reilly after their win over Kilkenny in the senior camogie All-Ireland final in Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Just when you think you’ve it figured, Kerry and Westmeath go and win camogie titles

Michelle Quilty: “Standing there on the field after the 2016 final [victory], it was all a bit surreal, I didn’t really take it in.” Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Kilkenny star has finished on the losing side in five of the six All-Ireland finals she has played

Republic of Ireland’s David McGoldrick scores his sides equalising goal past Yann Sommer of Switzerland. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Four forwards named in this squad, now there’s one international goal between them

Gary Neville launches Cadbury’s third year as ‘Official Snack Partner’ to the Premier League in Dublin. Photograph:   David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Sky pundit predicts demise of email while lamenting online aggression

Lead boots but no lead balloon: Dublin’s Dean Rock prepares to take a free during the   All-Ireland SFC final against Kerry in  Croke Park on Sunday. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

TV View: Never mind the mega tsunami – this whirlwind of a game left us all reeling

Eric Cantona receives the Uefa President’s Award during the Champions League draw in Monaco. Photo: Valery Hache/Getty Images

Former Manchester United star gave a rather strange speech in Monaco on Thursday

Ireland’s Diane Caldwell in action against Italy during a friendly match in April in Mapei Stadium, Reggio Emilia, Italy. Photograph: Matteo Ciambelli/Inpho

Centre-back’s chief ambition is still to be part of Irish team that qualifies for major tournament

Niamh Collins of Dublin is fouled by Cork goalkeeper Martina O’Brien, resulting in a penalty, during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies’ Senior Football Championship semi-final at Croke Park on Sunday. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

One-point win over Mayo sees Galway face Dublin in bid to end 15-year drought

Dublin players Carla Rowe, Lyndsey Davey, and Ciara Trant celebrate following the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Senior Football Championship semi-final win over Cork. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Mick Bohan’s side set up All-Ireland final meeting with Galway after six-point win

Cork’s Ciara O’Sullivan with Martha Byrne of Dublin in last year’s   All-Ireland final  in Croke Park. Photograph:  Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Ciara O’Sullivan says the rivalry between the teams is intense

Angela Downey’s son Conor Browne in action for Kilkenny. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Henry Shefflin and Sky lads defend Richie Hogan but Donal Óg is having none of it

Anna O’Flanagan: “It was important that we put it [the World Cup] to rest, we couldn’t keep dwelling on it, it wasn’t going to get us to where we wanted to go”. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Qualifying for Tokyo has been World Cup silver medalists’ priority since missing out on Rio

Patrick Reed celebrates his victory in the Northern Trust. Photograph: Jared C. Tilton/Getty

Will competition leader rue leaving Patrick Reed out of team ahead of Northern Trust?

Railway Union’s Sarah Hawkshaw  has been named in the Ireland panel for the upcoming European Championships in Antwerp. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Inpho/Presseye

Ireland grouped with England, Germany and Belarus for event in Antwerp

Dublin’s Brian Fenton with Aidan O’Shea and Seamus O’Shea of Mayo. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

In the Sky Sports studio on Sunday José Mourinho couldn’t hold back on a few jabs

Aston Villa’s Conor Hourihane in action against  Tanguy Ndombele during the Premier League game at the  Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

Sheridan still believing in miracles . . . fun and games in Serie A . . . summer awards round-up . . . quotes of the week

Mayo were no match for Dublin, the RTE panel would tell us that nobody are, or will be. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Hopeless panel tell us not to mind the drive for five, it’ll be ‘seven is heaven’ soon enough

VAR is being introduced to the top flight leagues from the start of the new season. is season. Photograph:  Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Premier League kick-off: The tweaks and key changes you need to get your head around

Sportswomen of Month winners Rhasidat Adeleke (Athletics) and Kate O’Connor (Athletics). Photographs: Sportsfile/Getty Images

Adeleke won two golds in Baku; O’Connor became first Irish woman to medal in heptathlon

Mayo’s Fionn McDonagh surrounded by delighted fans following the victory over Donegal at MacHale Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Familiar road to Croker nigh on work out by the county’s relentless suit of Sam

Ireland’s Amber Barrett scoring against Slovakia at Tallaght Stadium, Dublin, in a  World Cup qualifier in 2018. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Striker is on her way to play in Germany aiming seal her place on the Ireland senior team

 Katie Taylor said her fight with Delfine Persoon was one of the toughest of her career. Photograph: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Boxer unified lightweight division with controversial victory over Delfine Persoon

Rosemary Kathleen Lavelle of the USA celebrates after scoring her team’s second goal in the  World Cup final. ‘She wouldn’t look out of place in downtown Ballyhaunis.’ Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Lavelle is a ledge we might be able to claim while BBC fails to pin blame where it belongs

Manager Colin Bell speaks to the players after the  Women’s World Cup qualifier in May 2018 in Norway. Photograph: INPHO/Andrew Halseid Budd

A spotlight is shining yet again on how seriously the FAI treats the women’s game

Colin Bell is to leave his role as Ireland women’s coach to become an assistant at Huddersfield Town. Photograph: Matteo Ciambelli/Inpho

Former Ireland manager reveals that he turned down initial Huddersfield offer

Colin Bell has joined Huddersfield as an assistant coach. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Englishman leaves Irish women’s job to become assistant at Huddersfield

Nottingham Forest have sacked manager Martin O’Neil. Photo:  Alan Martin/Action Plus via Getty Images

News comes after Roy Keane’s departure and amid reports of unrest in the camp

Cameroon’s players arguing with referee Qin Iang of China during their match against  England  at the  World Cup  in Valenciennes, France. Photograph: EPA/Tolga Bozoglu

Eye-rolling aplenty among panellists when they discuss some of the behaviour on the pitch

Massed ranks of the Roscommon faithful celebrate on the pitch following the Connacht final win over Galway at Pearse Stadium in Salthill. Photograph:  Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Jubilant Roscommon and their fans only ones celebrating in the city of the tribes

Irish canoeist Jenny Egan won two World Cup medals in the space of a week. Photograph:  Bryan Keane/Inpho

Canoeist became first Irish medallist in K1 5,000m at World Championships this year

  Robbie Brady  scores Ireland’s second goal. Photograph; James Crombie/Inpho

The wheels on Ireland’s campaign still going round and round despite the bus breaking down

Scotland’s Chloe Arthur (left) and England’s Karen Carney (right) battle for the ball during the World Cup. Photograph: John Walton/PA

Undisputed result as Scotland flounder on England’s rock-solid performance

 Shane Duffy celebrates scoring Ireland’s equaliser against Denmark. Photograph:   Bradley Collyer/PA Wire

Hosts France get their World Cup of to a brilliant start before Derryman delivers the perfect finish

The USA players celebrate their victory over Japan in the Fifa Women’s World Cup 2015 at the BC Place Stadium in Vancouver. Photograph: Franck Fife/Getty Images

Once sponsored by M&Ms, the tournament has come a long way, but still has a way to go

The USA players celebrate their victory over Japan in the Fifa Women’s World Cup 2015 at the BC Place Stadium in Vancouver. Photograph: Franck Fife/Getty Images

Will the United States retain their title? Can England’s Lionesses get past the last four?

Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen sits dejected after losing the Champions League final to Liverpool. Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters

TV View: It wasn’t quite what we all wanted but in the end these teams owe us nothing

Ireland Women’s hockey goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran: ‘We definitely have the confidence and the belief that we can do something special again, that we will qualify for Tokyo and perform the way we know we can.’ Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

From foster system, four years in Kentucky and last year’s World Cup, McFerran eyes the future

Arsenal fans in the stands with empty seats during the Uefa Europa League final at the Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan. Photo: Steven Paston/PA Wire

TV View: No matter how hard anyone tried there was a lot missing in Azerbaijan

Jordan Spieth: his share of eighth place at the  Charles Schwab Challenge constituted the entire points total of 370 for tournament leader Joe Connolly. Photograph:  Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Most managers will be happy to see back of week seven after a pretty paltry points haul

Roscommon’s Andrew Glennon celebrates with delighted fans after the victory over Mayo in Castlebar. Photograph:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Roscommon faithful dance in the rain after successful Castlebar raid

Anna O’Flanagan, Róisín Upton and Ayeisha McFerran with newly appointed head coach Sean Dancer at the launch of the women hockey players’ bursary scheme at the Reflector Building on Dubin’s Grand Canal Dock. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

New women’s hockey coach welcomes bursary deal rewarding players for commitment

Olympique Lyonnais players celebrate their Women’s Champions League win over VFL Wolfsburg at Kyiv in May 2018. Photograph: Kieran Galvin/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Success of French side a testament to club owner’s commitment to women’s game

 Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany lifts the Premier League Trophy after their 4-1 defeat of Brighton & Hove Albion 4-1 at American Express Community Stadium on Sunday. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

TV view: Former Liverpool captain given a bubbly bath as City celebrate title win

Mark McCall with the Champions Cup trophy after his side’s win over Leinster. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The forecasted game for the ages delivers but Leinster are left to rue what might have been

Harlequins is without Yvonne O’Byrne for the Irish Senior Cup final. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Favourites Loreto missing four key players as they seek to win first title in nearly a decade

Ireland’s Leona Maguire celebrates after her last putt on day one of the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic  on May 1st. Photograph: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Golfer qualifies for US Open in South Carolina with win at Pinnacle Creek in Arizona

 Lucas Moura celebrates scoring their third goal to complete his hat-trick. Photo: Piroschka Van De Wouw/Reuters

TV View: ‘If Tottenham turn this around I’ll think I’ve seen everything’

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, manager Jürgen Klopp  and Virgil van Dijk celebrate after the Champions League semi- final, second leg match against Barcelona  at Anfield. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

Presenters and commentators left speechless

Ruby Walsh with his wife, Gillian, and daughters Isabelle, Elsa and Gemma after he announced his retirement at the 2019 Punchestown Festival in Co Kildare last Wednesday.  Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

TV View: The jockey was compared to Bond, Messi, George Best and John Boy Walton

Shirley McCay: Ireland  international will miss Pegasus’s Champions Trophy semi-final against Cork Harlequins at Banbridge. Photograph: Rowland White/Presseye/Inpho

Hockey League winners eager to avenge Irish Senior Cup defeat by Cork Harlequins

 Lionel Messi scores  Barcelona’s third goal in the Champions League semi-final first leg against Liverpool at the Camp Nou. Photograph: Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Visitors left without a prayer as Barça star shows his higher powers

Ajax players celebrate after beating Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League semi-final first leg. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Pochettino may have to delay rendezvous with star command

The Arsenal Women players celebrate winning the FA WSL League. Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Blessington footballer has taken a roundabout route to earning league winner’s medal

Lukas Bates, dressed as Big Ben, struggles to get over the finish line during the London Marathon. Photo: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Sunday almost saw a marathon record set for fastest man dressed as a landmark building

Queen’s have a second chance to win promotion when they take on Muckross next Sunday in Banbridge. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Limerick side beat Queen’s to complete impressive season and gain promotion

There  is plenty left to play for in the final round of the women’s EY Hockey League. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Pembroke aim to hold off Harlequins for fourth as Hockey League relegation goes to final day

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba reacts during the Premier League defeat to Manchester City at Old Trafford. Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Corkman was right at home alongside Graeme Souness as Paul Pogba took the heat

Loreto will meet Belarus’s Ritm Grodno in Monday morning’s seventh-eighth place play-off at the EuroHockey Club Cup in Amsterdam. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Irish side facing a playoff to avoid last place in EuroHockey Club Cup in Amsterdam

Billy Vunipola of Saracens after the victory over Munster. Asked if he’d anything to say to the Munster fans who’d booed him during the game he replied : “Naw, from my point of view I believe in what I believe in”. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Saracens player somehow cast as the blameless victim of some harrowing ordeal

Ireland’s Katie Mullan: in Germany champions Club an der Alster’s squad. Photograph: Joe Toth/Inpho

Formidable challenge awaits for Loreto in EuroHockey Club Trophy in Kent

Tottenham Hotspur’s Kyle Walker-Peters, manager Mauricio Pochettino, Ben Davies and Danny Rose celebrate after the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Manchester City   at the Etihad Stadium. Photograph:  Mike Egerton/PA Wire

A quick 10 minutes to see how things were going in Porto left us a little morto

Tiger Woods celebrates at Augusta. Some 87 per cent of the managers in our 2019 Fantasy Golf competition left him out of their Masters team.  Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

Woods and Koepka deliver in style as four of contestant’s picks finish in the top five at Augusta

Philippe Coutinho scores Barcelona’s  third goal during the  Champions League quarter-final second leg against Manchester United at the Nou Camp. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

World’s best player gets a helping hand as Manchester United go a little Molinari against Barca

Tiger Woods celebrates after sinking his putt on the 18th green to win the Masters at Augusta. Photograph: Kevin C Cox/Getty

TV View: As ‘one of the greatest sporting stories ever told’ unfolded, Peter gave in

Church of Ireland and Dromore also land titles in weekend action

Celtic manager Neil Lennon prior to him asking for the  Scottish Cup trophy to be removed during a press conference at Lennoxtown ahead of the semi-final against Aberdeen at Hampden Park. Photograph:  Steve Welsh/William Hill/PA Wire

Broken tattoo . . . angry fan of the week . . . tall tales . . . quotes of the week

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in action at Old Trafford. Photograph: Getty Images

Quinn and Kerr dismayed by the FAI’s stymieing of the Oireachtas committee

Son Heung-Min  of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring his team’s  during the Champions League quarter-final first leg  against Manchester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Scot was left looking flustered, him being more familiar with 4-3-3s than Clause 4.3s

A view of the Pegasus team huddle. Photo: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

It was an easy 6-0 win over Muckross to take a first national title in four years

With UCD looking likely to join the top two in the Champions Trophy, the fight for the  final spot in the tournament is between Cork Harlequins and Pembroke Wanderers

The Belfast side just have to avoid a shock defeat when they take on bottom club Muckross at Queens

Donegal’s Karen Guthrie scores a goal during the surprising league win over All-Ireland champions Dublin at Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Despite 15 new faces on the panel this season, county are back in the league semi-final

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah  celebrates his team’s 2-1 lead against  Spurs. Photograph: EPA/Peter powell

Back in the studio the whiteness of the beaming gnashers is blinding

 Anne Hatchard celebrates after scoring the first of Adelaide Crows’ 10 goals in the AFLW Grand Final match against  Carlton Blues at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday. Photograph:  David Mariuz/EPA

Clare dual star scores goal in front of record crowd of 53,000 at Adelaide Oval

Loreto last won the Irish Senior Cup in 2010 and face Railway Union on Saturday for a place in this year’s final.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Absence of senior internationals will test Loreto’s squad strength as they face Railway

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