A miserable evening for Ireland, Gordon D’Arcy on playing the mighty Stade Toulousain
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Enable will travel to America for the Breeders Cup turf. Photograph: Francois Mori/AP
Ireland finished what has turned out to bea thoroughly miserable international break with a 1-0 defeat to Wales at the Aviva Stadium last night. Ryan Giggs’s youthful side - missing their two star players in Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey - won 1-0 in Dublin thanks to a 58th minute free-kick from Harry Wilson. Martin O’Neill’s men rallied afterwards, but ultimately never looked like turning things around. Emmet Malone writes: “The crowd got behind the home side as they chased an equaliser and there were moments when there was at least a recognisable echo of the famous old roar but it did no good; Ireland simply did not have the wherewithal up front to save themselves.” Elsewhere, world champions France came from behind to beat Germany 2-1 at the Stade de France, Antoine Griezmann scoring both goals.
In his column this morning Gordon D’Arcy looks ahead to Leinster’s trip to play the mighty Toulouse next weekend - a clash between two sides with four stars stitched onto their jerseys - and remembers the province’s famous win at the Stadium Municipal in 2006. He writes: “On Sunday they return to this wonderful city, the aristocratic home of French rugby. What a test for these young champions. Now, the team has suffered recent defeats in Montpellier and Toulon but visiting Toulouse is an altogether new experience. Think of a footballer entering Camp Nou, or hurling at Semple Stadium. It’s special.”