Ireland come up just short against Sweden; Peter Wilkins on his rekindled love for rugby

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Ireland goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan watches as Sweden’s winning goal goes into the bottom corner. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Ireland goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan watches as Sweden’s winning goal goes into the bottom corner. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

In the end it was disappointment for Ireland against Sweden last night but Vera Pauw’s side did manage to push one of the best teams in the world all the way in Tallaght. Only an unlucky first half own goal from Louise Quinn did the damage as Ireland came close to a memorable result. There was some good news after the match however when a scan revealed no break in the arm of Denise O’Sullivan who had been injured towards the end of the match. With the injury not as bad as first feared she looks set to be fit to face Finland this Tuesday. All in all it was an encouraging night for Ireland in many ways and Malachy Clerkin hands out the marks in our player ratings. In her TV View column, Mary Hannigan writes that Helsinki offers a chance for Ireland to kickstart their campaign.

Moving to rugby and this morning Gerry Thornley speaks to Connacht coach Peter Wilkins about falling out of love with rugby before being rekindled at Toulouse. “The disappointment of realising that he wasn’t going to make it as a player led Wilkins to walk away from the sport entirely for six years in his early 20s. He even stopped watching,” he writes. Tonight Leinster meet Glasgow in the URC in what looks to be a step up in challenge at Scotstoun. Leo Cullen has named a strong team for the occasion as they look to make it five wins from five. Meanwhile, Ireland Sevens player Billy Dardis was speaking yesterday about the disappointment of the Tokyo Olympics and his desire to kick on and improve when Paris rolls around in 2024.

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