The Morning Sports Briefing

Superbowl final, Fitzmaurice has answers for Kerry’s losing start, Dublin edged on their travels, Martin O’Neill laughs off Keane debate, Conor Murray fit to face Italy and why the British Open cannot be sold to Sky

 

NFL: Superbowl

New England Patriots were last night crowned the Superbowl champions following their 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Post match much of the furore centres on the cemented legacy of quarter-back Tom Brady, and the decision of Seahawks coach Pete Carroll to run a passing play while on the one-yard line with the final play, instead of asking Marshawn Lynch to try and make that yard.

GAA: Allianz League

Both Kerry and Dublin lost their league openers yesterday, yet neither results should be read into too carefully say the respective coaches.

Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s team were away on a celebratory holiday for last year’s All-Ireland success and hence he says his team were visibly a few weeks behind their opponents Mayo in terms of preparation.

As for Cork manager Brian Cuthbert who oversaw his team’s one point win over the travelling Dubs; “How much do you read into games like this? Dublin came down here minus 10 players. We are missing five of our main players.”

Rugby: Injury news

Conor Murray and Dave Kearney have been passed fit for Ireland’s Six Nations opener against Italy.

Yet as a precautionary measure factoring in Eoin Reddan’s fitness, four scrumhalves are included among the 38 players in contention for the match day squad.

Meanwhile Gerry Thornley explains why Marty Moore is “proof, were it needed, that the Leinster system, and specifically their Talent Identification Programme, works.” At 15, in his transition year at Castleknock, one of his work experience placements was with Leinster.

Golf: Sky debate

Golf participation among 18-34-year-olds, the age when most people take up the game for the first time, has declined by 30 per cent in the past 20 years.

Nonetheless the British Open looks set to be sold to Sky limiting viewing to the “hardcore fans”. Golf correspondent Phillip Reid looks at why the decision will be hard to justify.

Raging sense of persecution

“It was all there again: the noise, the bile, the electricity, the songs, the colours, the police, the flags, the sell-out, the stadium divide, the city divide and the mutual raging sense of persecution. Yes, the whole Glasgow shouting match was on display at Hampden Park. But where it matters most, on the pitch, the reunion of Celtic ad Rangers, after almost three years, revealed afresh the ragged state of domestic Scottish football” - Michael Walker was at Hampden Park for Celtic versus Rangers and it’s definitely worth the read.

What to watch out for:

We’re expecting some more team news from the Irish Rugby camp in Carton house later today, particularly on the injury front. You can catch up on all the GAA football league highlights on TG4 tonight at 8.30pm.

The return of Against the Head is also tonight with a view to the weekend’s Six Nations openers.

RTE 2 from 7pm to 8.05pm

Transfer Deadline Day is upon us, there’s been very little action thus far in the window but don’t write off a busy last few hours - no doubt some clubs are in desperate need.

BBC 1 from 11.10pm-11.55pm

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