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‘A performance of bone-jarring ineptitude’: England booed off by their own fans

Irish rugby running on empty, Joe Canning tips Clare and Cork in All-Ireland quarter-finals

Euro 2024: England manager Gareth Southgate embraces Kieran Trippier after their draw with Denmark in Frankfurt. Photograph: Bradley Collyer/PA Wire.

How impressed was Ken Early by England in their draw with Denmark on Thursday? Not a lot. “It was a performance of bone-jarring ineptitude,” he writes, noting that they had the distinction of becoming “the first team at these Euros to be booed off by their own supporters”. It was, he says, the same old story: “England scoring first, then forgetting how to play football.” But, despite their malfunctions, they’re through to the second round, as are Spain who Gavin Cummiskey saw beat Italy, in the clash of “international football royalty” and “the aristocrats of the beautiful game”, to book their slot in the knockout stages.

While in Leipzig on Tuesday for the game between Portugal and Czechia, Gavin took time to visit the former Stasi headquarters in the city where he found “traces of a horrid postwar past” in the “chillingly preserved” home of East Germany’s secret police. “To ignore the past is a sure method of repeating history,” he writes, citing French captain Kylian Mbappé's remarks last week on “Europe’s latest lurch towards far-right governments”.

Johnny Watterson, meanwhile, wonders if “Irish rugby is running on empty”, its players barely having had a break since they went in to their pre-World Cup camp a year ago this week. “It poses a reasonable question of how much rugby is too much,” he asks. And John O’Sullivan talks to Jack Murphy about his move from Leinster to Ulster where his father Richie is now head coach.

In hurling, Joe Canning looks ahead to Saturday’s Cork v Dublin and Clare v Wexford quarter-finals, Paul Keane hears from Waterford camogie star Niamh Rockett and Monaghan manager Vinny Corey talks about his side’s hopes going into Saturday’s preliminary football quarter-final against Galway.


Sonia O’Sullivan is hoping that all our medal winners from Rome will appear at the National Championships in Santry at the end of the month, while Danielle Hill will be bringing home a medal herself after the swimmer won Ireland’s first European long course gold in 27 years on Thursday. And in golf, Leona Maguire had an encouraging start to her latest attempt at winning her first Major, the Cavan woman lying just one stroke behind leader Nelly Korda after the opening round of the KPMG PGA Championship.

Over at Royal Ascot, “a rejuvenated Kyprios” extended Aidan O’Brien’s Gold Cup-winning record to nine, a slice of good news for racing following that RTÉ Investigates programme, scenes of the very worst of cruelty towards horses prompting “public revulsion”. The racing and breeding sectors must, writes Brian O’Connor, “have a meaningful examination of the extent of its duty of care to animals after their careers are over”.

TV Watch: The pick of the day’s Euro 2024 games is the meeting of France and the Netherlands in Leipzig (RTÉ 2 and BBC 1, 8pm). Earlier, Slovakia play Ukraine (RTÉ 2 and BBC 1, 2pm) and Poland take on Austria (RTÉ 2 and UTV, 5pm). And there’s further coverage tonight from the LPGA Championship in Washington state where Leona Maguire is just a shot off the lead after the first round (Sky Sports Golf, 11pm-3am).

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