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Malachy Clerkin: New era for Ireland as they hammer hapless Hungary

Football from Budapest, golf from Rome, rugby from France and Katie Taylor in Dublin – all in your morning Irish Times sports coverage

All together now ... Weee’ve got McCabe/Katie McCabe/I just don’t think you understand...

Ireland’s post-Vera Pauw era continues apace, with a 4-0 win over a hapless Hungary side in last night’s Nations League game. Mary Hannigan reports from Budapest on a game where Ireland’s two world class players – McCabe and Denise O’Sullivan – ran the show. Mary caught up with both of them afterwards, as well as goalscorer Kyra Carusa who described being in the team with O’Sullivan as “like playing with Kevin De Bruyne, you just make the runs, and she finds you. She’s awesome.”

Tacking southwest across the map of Europe, our next stop is Rome where our golf correspondent Philip Reid reports from the Ryder Cup. Shane Lowry was up in front of the media on Tuesday and the Offaly man spent a while talking about his background in team sports and why a Ryder Cup should make him raise his game. “At tournaments, I always have to have people around me. I hate being on my own, so I feel like I thrive in this environment.”

And we may as well stop-off in France on our way back, where Johnny Watterson has been talking to Hugo Keenan before the Ireland fullback took his few days off with the rest of the Ireland team. “The windmill limbs and the relatively slight frame mean Kennan cannot bounce players off him,” Johnny writes. “Or use absolute force to explode past bodies like team-mate Bundee Aki does. For the most part he must avoid them.”


Gordon D’Arcy’s column today is a timely reminder of the road ahead. “Ireland will forensically scrutinise all parts of their lineout malfunction and how best to move forward,” he writes. “It didn’t just cost possession but meant another block of tackling big Springboks and that additional attrition depletes the batteries.”

Back on our own rainy little rock, the big GAA news of the week is Austin Gleeson’s decision to step back from the intercounty game for a while. Gordon Manning has a piece today talking to Derek McGrath and Dan Shanahan, both of whom were key to the Waterford talisman’s best years. “I texted him just to say I think it’s a great decision for him personally,” says McGrath. “I might get criticism for that, obviously from a Waterford perspective it’s disappointing, but I do think it’s the right thing for him.”

Elsewhere, Katie Taylor was in town yesterday, promoting her rematch against Chantelle Cameron, which is down for decision at the 3Arena in November. She was in Absolute Katie Mode in Dublin, taking mock offence at the idea that she might have retired after May’s defeat and is still defiantly paddling her own canoe. “I just want to be involved in the biggest fights possible in the sport,” she said. “I want to be involved in history-making fights.”

On Telly: Hard to know just how much interest either side will have in the Carabao Cup but Newcastle United v Manchester City is at least nominally the big game tonight (Sky Sports Main Event, 8.0).