Stephen Kenny’s start better than it looks on paper; when Ireland wilted against Japan

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

Rory McIlroy opened with a 73 at Shadow Creek. Photograph: Christian Petersen/Getty

Rory McIlroy opened with a 73 at Shadow Creek. Photograph: Christian Petersen/Getty

Few will be sad to see the back of the recent international break - particularly Irish supporters who saw their side rendered winless and goalless in three fixtures, as Covid-19 wreaked havoc off the pitch. Stephen Kenny is now without a win in his first five games in charge of the Republic, but this morning Emmet Malone has suggested his start has been much better than it appears on paper. He writes: “There is a different air about it all too, with the new manager conveying a real sense that he believes in this young talent as having the potential to become, as he put it on Wednesday, important to the team in the future.” Meanwhile Premier Division leaders Shamrock Rovers will have to wait to get their hands on the title after their next three league fixtures were postponed last night, following a positive coronavirus test within the squad. Rovers were due to play Derry City in Tallaght tonight, Bohemians’ clash with Dundalk is set to go ahead as scheduled at Oriel Park (5.45pm).

The 2020 intercounty season finally gets back underway this weekend, with the National Leagues resuming tomorrow as Kerry take on Monaghan and Dublin meet Meath in Division One. However there is no little trepidation from the GAA as games resume, as Seán Moran writes this morning: “If the mood is sanguine, there’s also acceptance that the association has to be guided by public health advice and if Level 5 is declared then the season is in all likelihood over but in the meantime the fixtures go ahead.”

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