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14 years of pain for Munster to continue; Needless rules in the GAA

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

Defeat to Toulouse last weekend meant that Munster's European silverware drought extends to 14 years. Only Keith Earls survives from the squad that beat, funnily enough, Toulouse in the 2008 final in Cardiff. In his column this morning, Johnny Watterson looks at the difference in quality between that 2008 squad and today. Such a comparison lends one to question the general attitude towards Munster's failures: "Why should Munster expect more success is perhaps the correct question, rather than why should they not expect more success?" Moving east towards the capital, Leinster is a side that has experienced its own fair share of failure since their last Champions Cup title in 2018. Rónan Kelleher was just an academy player back then, and he has been speaking about how he is one of a number of young Leinster stars that is desperate to put a star of their own on that blue jersey.

Needless GAA rules and regulations are a subject of great frustration for Joe Canning. In his column, the Galway legend asks why can't players take their hurls with them onto the pitch for the pre-match walk around? Equally, why can subs not warm up on the sideline with their hurl in hand? "It is a rule for the sake of a rule. It almost makes you think that there is a group of guys who need to come up with these rules to keep themselves relevant." In other GAA news, Clare forward Ian Galvin has been handed a one-match ban after receiving a red card in the Munster hurling championship match against Cork. As a result he will miss the weekend's meeting with All-Ireland champions Limerick, in Ennis.

Last night was a bad one for Arsenal, to say the least. A capitulation away to Tottenham saw them concede three goals, score none, lose Rob Holding to a red card and Gabriel to an apparent hamstring injury. Their top four destiny remains in their hands, two wins in their two remaining games would see them preserve their slender league advantage over Spurs, but injuries and suspensions mean they may have to do so with Holding, Gabriel and Ben White - their three recognised centre-backs - all out of action. Now that Erling Haaland's move to Manchester City has been confirmed, Lisa Fallon takes a look at why the Norwegian striker is a better option than Harry Kane who was the subject of unsuccessful overtures from City last summer.

On the PGA Tour, Séamus Power's 66 has him firmly in contention after one round of the AT&T Byron Nelson Classic. However, despite an impressive opening he still finds himself six shots off leader Sebastian Munoz whose fantastic form saw him card an opening round of 60.