Ireland need to turn performances into points, Ulster going to be up against it

Luck not a factor at the Aviva Stadium, Ulster need to iron out wrinkles

Ireland’s Nathan Collins attempts a header in the closing stages on Monday night. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

In response to France’s 1-0 victory in Dublin on Monday evening, Le Monde was writing about leprechauns, like you do. They concluded that France were fortunate enough to come away with a win, so reckoned the “small humanoid creature” must have granted a wish to Didier Deschamps ahead of the game.

Gavin Cummiskey, though, is less convinced that luck - or leprechauns - was a factor, saluting Stephen Kenny’s men for their “bravery and organisation” against the star-studded World Cup finalists, but reckoning that “Ireland continue to take more from performances rather than results”. In the months ahead, they need to turn promising displays in to points.

Gordon Manning, meanwhile, talks to Adam Idah about the online racial abuse directed at Ireland under-15 players last week, the senior international having suffered similar abuse himself in the past, prompting him to give up on social media.

In rugby, Gordon D’Arcy looks ahead to Ulster’s trip to Dublin to take on Leinster on Saturday evening in the Champions Cup, and having watched them beat the Bulls last weekend he concludes that they have “many performance wrinkles to iron out” against a Leinster side that will have most of its Irish internationals back.


And Gerry Thornley reckons Munster will be up against it too when they take on a Sharks side splattered with World Cup-winning Springboks in the European Champions Cup in Durban on Saturday.

Speaking of being up against it: Daire Walsh hears from John McKee, assistant coach of the women’s national side, who remains hopeful that the team can finish in their targeted third place in the Six Nations despite that 31-5 drubbing by Wales last weekend.

In Gaelic Games, Paul Keane talks to Aimee Mackin, Armagh’s LGFA footballer of the year, who, for now, is resisting the lure of heading down under to join an AFLW side, her sister Blaithin having won the championship there with Melbourne last winter.

And Gordon Manning tells us about the GAA’s refusal to allow charity logos appear on jerseys unless they are registered as designated shirt sponsors at the start of the year. “Needless meddling,” has been the gist of the response.

Telly choice: Can Republic of Ireland captain Katie McCabe and her Arsenal side make it through to the Champions League semi-finals? We’ll find out tonight - DAZN’s YouTube channel has live coverage of the second leg of their quarter-final against Bayern Munich (kick-off 8.0), the Germans having won the first leg 1-0.

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