It was a contest Ken Early likened to a field mouse taking on a combine harvester, but in the end it proved a surprisingly even affair, the field mouse putting up a mighty battle until a stray pass led to it being crushed. “Ireland have set opponents up so often now with sloppy sideways passes that it’s starting to look like they work on it in training,” writes Ken.
Gavin Cummiskey reports on that 1-0 win for France, an evening, he says, that “ended in misery” for the Irish, even if it was “brave, organised, bristling misery”. Malachy Clerkin was on Kylian Mbappé-watch during the game, while Gordon Manning heard Nathan Collins’ reaction to that last minute wonder save from Mike Maignan that denied the Wolves man an equaliser.
In Gaelic Games, Malachy writes about Stephen Cluxton’s return to the Dublin camp, reckoning that his “crankiness” might just be what a team on the drift needs as they head in to the Championship. Gordon hears from Donegal captain Paddy McBrearty about the county’s ongoing woes, and he talks to Galway’s Sean Kelly as his county aim for their first National League title since 1981.
In rugby, Gerry Thornley brings us reaction from the Leinster camp to the news that Johnny Sexton is likely to miss the rest of the season with the injury he sustained in the Grand Slam-sealing game against England. And Owen Doyle writes about the debate that followed Freddie Steward’s red card in that game, which was subsequently rescinded.
And Johnny Watterson talks to Kellie Harrington who has confirmed that the Olympics in Paris next summer will be her last as a competitor. Nathan Johns, meanwhile, brings us Harrington’s reaction to her testy interview on Newstalk’s Off the Ball when she objected to questions about her retweeting of a video last October that featured anti-immigration rhetoric.
Telly choice: It’s a soccer-dominated schedule this evening, the pick of the Euro 2024 qualifying games the meeting of Scotland and Spain in Glasgow (Premier Sports 1, kick-off 7.45).