The Morning Sports Briefing
Baby Blacks too good for Ireland Under 20s, O’Neill wants a strong start against Scots, O’Brien unbeaten against Kerry and Manchip at the heart of Ireland’s golfing success
Ireland’s Under 20s were beaten 25-3 by New Zealand ending their hopes of World Cup glory. Photograph: Inpho
World Cup dream over
A strong performance from Nigel Carolan’s side, in which they dominated possession and territory for much of the second half, simply wasn’t enough against a Baby Blacks team who seem just as peerless as their elder brothers.
Importance of Scotland game can’t be underestimated
Martin O’Neill has been keen to emphasise the importance of Ireland Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday and has called on his players to seize the initiative and start on the front foot against Gordon Strachan’s side.
The set-pieces of Robbie Brady could play a big role on the outcome of Saturday’s match, and the Hull City left-back is confident he can use his left-foot in a devastating manner similar to Ian Harte.
Meanwhile Shaun Maloney believes it is unlikely Ireland will get caught out by a cunning set-piece move similar to the one which set up his winning goal in the reverse fixture at Celtic Park in November.
In the latest development in the Fifa scandal secretary general Jerome Valcke has announced bidding has been suspended for the 2026 World Cup, while Swiss investigators have seized fresh evidence from the offices of Sepp Blatter.
Tipp’s O’Brien unbeaten against Kerry
Tipperary take on All-Ireland champions Kerry in the Munster Senior Football Championship on Sunday, and Steven O’Brien is looking to continue his proud record of never having lost to the Kingdom at football, writes Ian O’Riordan.
19-year-old Limerick hurler Cian Lynch, who splits his time between inspiring his county to victory over Clare and working shifts at his local Spar shop, has been named the GAA/GPA hurler of the month for May.
Munster Council have banned the “live feed review” system utilised by most elite county management sides from all football and hurling matches, including this weekend’s provincial semi-finals, citing health and safety and cost issues.
Faldo was a pioneer
In his column, Colin Byrne looks at Nick Faldo, recently inducted into the Honorees Garden at Jack Nicklaus’s Memorial Tournament, and his relationship with Nicklaus himself.
Ireland currently boasts four Major winners and in Rory McIlroy the world’s best golfer. At the heart of the nation’s golfing success in the Golfing Union of Ireland and its head coach Neil Manchip, who works with players aged 12 all the way through to Shane Lowry, writes John O’Sullivan.
Leona Maguire is through to the match-play stages of the Women’s Amateur British Open at Portrush after she added a brilliant five under par round of 68 to add to her opening 67, leaving her 11 under for the tournament and six shots clear of the field.
Davis Cup still important
The eyes of the tennis world will soon turn to Wimbledon, however former world number 129 Conor Niland is championing Ireland’s Davis Cup relegation battle with South Africa in July and is an enthusiastic ambassador for the tournament.
What to watch out for: