Lisa Fallon on crucial marginal gains; hot start for Irish golfers

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Andrew Conway has been speaking in the build-up to Munster’s Champions Cup clash with Wasps. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Andrew Conway has been speaking in the build-up to Munster’s Champions Cup clash with Wasps. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

If Munster’s last clash with Wasps was memorable for the unique quarantine issues that allowed a number of academy players to secure a famous win, this weekend’s return fixture in Thomond Park was given an altogether different layer of intrigue when the English visitors overturned defending champions Toulouse last time out. Rugby teams always publicly state the strength of their opposition (even if they were as bad as Montpellier last weekend), but that result certainly would have made Munster stand up and take notice as they hunt a win that would secure home advantage for the start of the knock-out stages. Still, that wasn’t the most important thing that Munster’s Andrew Conway had to say in the build-up to another European weekend. Like all of us, he was horrified by the tragedy in Tullamore last week: “It’s something that we can’t have happen again. On our small little island women need to feel safe at all times and us men need to do better as a whole. It can’t just be talked about for a week and left until something happens again.” On the Leinster side, Jack Conan has been speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Bath.

Lisa Fallon’s column this morning deals with the importance of achieving universal squad buy-in to a culture that fights hard for the marginal gains required for sporting success. You often hear people talking about the fine margins between success and failure in sport. Fallon here gives concrete examples of just how small these can be while also demonstrating how to get on the right side of these margins from a coaching perspective: “Getting the little details right and doing it consistently changes the bar and the standard. But it’s actually impossible to tell, what ultimately makes the difference.” Speaking of margins that may not always be so fine, Liverpool last night secured their place in the Carabao Cup final thanks to a reasonably comfortable win away to Arsenal. News also emerged yesteday that the Ireland women’s team will start their year at an invitational tournament in Spain next month.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.