What exactly does new roadmap mean for sport? Bennett safely passes first Alpine test

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

Ireland’s Sam Bennett celebrates retaining his green jersey on the podium at the end of 16th stage of the Tour de France. Photograph: Getty Images

Ireland’s Sam Bennett celebrates retaining his green jersey on the podium at the end of 16th stage of the Tour de France. Photograph: Getty Images

From this morning a maximum of 200 people can attend outdoor sporting events as long as it takes place in a stadium with a capacity of at least 5,000, outside of Dublin. In the capital the figure is just 100. On Tuesday afternoon the Government revealed its six month Living With Covid-19 roadmap, and Malachy Clerkin’s Q&A breaks down all the confusing details. Although most sports organisations and fans were expecting more, the good news is unlike back in July and early August, the 200 refers to crowds through the gates only - “it’s just not as good as the good news that we had been given to understand might be in the post.” Seán Moran explains why the GAA must feel a bit like the grand old Duke of York, in the midst of this frustrating process of stadia being closed, then opened, then closed and now opened again. “A championship match is at least as much about the crowds as the teams,” he writes. “The phrase, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ can rarely be more resonant than in the formation of footballers and hurlers.”

In his column this morning (Subscriber Only), Gordon D’Arcy is looking ahead to the weekend’s Champions Cup quarter-finals where Toulouse are primed to expose Ulster’s limitations: “considering Ulster’s overall form since the restart, Cheslin Kolbe, Antonine Dupont and Thomas Ramos must be licking their lips. Dan McFarland’s team are still on an upward curve but a reality check could be in store on Sunday because, working off the evidence to hand, they are some way off bringing a trophy to Belfast.” Saracens are hoping to end Leinster’s unbeaten season on Saturday, and their experienced winger Sean Maitland believes “it doesn’t get any better than playing Leinster at the Aviva . . . I know there’s not going to be any fans, which is a shame. We’ve played them in a quarter-final over there, then last year’s final, now the quarter-final again. I’m sure they have a lot of motivation to play us after last year. It’s a massive game, it’s European rugby, and it’s the only game that really means anything.”

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.