United slip up in top four race; reasons to be cheerful for Munster
The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team
Manchester United’s Scott McTominay stands dejected after Southampton’s equaliser during the Premier League match at Old Trafford. Photo: Peter Powell/NMC Pool/PA Wire
Manchester United’s impressive winning record came to an end last night as Michael Obafemi’s 96th minute equaliser gave Southampton a point at Old Trafford and saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side miss out on the chance to go third. Goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial had turned the match in United’s favour but a late corner and a bundles Obafemi finish did the damage in a match which Solskjaer said afterwards United probably didn’t deserve to win. In other soccer news, after sportspeople rallied around David McGoldrick yesterday in light of racist abuse he received online, Jame McClean pointed out in a message on Facebook that he hasn’t received any such support for the abuse he has been on the end of for years due to the fact that he doesn’t wear a Remembrance Sunday poppy.
On to rugby and last night the IRFU finally reached a pay reduction agreement with its players for a six-month period after protracted talks. Players earning over €25k will take a 10 per cent cut and a 10 per cent deferral until the end of the year it was announced last night. Meanwhile, in his column this morning Gerry Thornley writes that there are reasons to be cheerful for Munster when rugby resumes, despite missing out on the European knockout stages. “With Stephen Larkham and Graham Rowntree bringing their influence to bear over a full ‘pre-season’ as such, coupled with their new signings, Munster could be the most improved of the four Irish sides after the resumption,” he writes. Meanwhile, in Texas, former Ulster flanker Roger Wilson has found his niche in tackling the problem of bad technique in high school American football. “I’d watch the young kids playing high school football leading with their heads in the tackle and was shocked by what I was seeing,” he tells Jonathan Drennan.