Munster were full value for their 28-13 derby victory at Thomond Park as they completed their first Guinness Pro12 double over Leinster since 2009. Stand-in captain Shane Jennings responded with Leinster’s lone try, but they could not avoid their first league defeat since Munster visited them in early October. The Irish Rugby Football Union player welfare programme may have robbed this festive fixture of some of its headline acts – including the likes of Peter O’Mahony, Paul O’Connell, Rob Kearney and Jamie Heaslip – but it was, nonetheless, a full-blooded encounter. Keatley and Ian Madigan swapped early penalties, Munster forcing a maul infringement initially and then their loosehead John Ryan was pinged for not rolling away quickly enough. Faced with bunched midfields, both kickers cleverly exploited the space in behind before the Munster pack got on the front foot with some muscular carries. Leinster had to replace a groggy Dominic Ryan and as they adjusted, the hosts struck for the game’s opening try. Stander, who temporarily lost his jersey, raced onto a Duncan Williams pass to make the line despite the presence of Luke Fitzgerald and Dave Kearney. Keatley missed the conversion but soon threatened on an arcing run over halfway, Leinster scrambling back and then responding with a strong scrum on the hosts’ 22. Keatley was caught offside, allowing Madigan to close the gap to two points, albeit only briefly as Ryan’s replacement Jordi Murphy coughed up a penalty which Keatley forced through the posts. Madigan curled his next penalty effort wide and Leinster fell further behind in the opening minutes of the second period, Keatley’s flat pass seeing Conway crash through three tacklers and he had Isaac Boss hanging off him when he touched down. The left-sided conversion was added by Keatley to open up an 18-6 advantage and despite plenty of endeavour from Fitzgerald and Zane Kirchner, Leinster were getting little change from a resolute Munster defence. Winger Fanning earned his yellow card for pinching a ruck ball that referee Nigel Owens deemed was not out, and that allowed Munster to dictate play approaching the hour mark. Keatley landed the first of two penalty attempts and Foley’s charges then hurt Leinster up front again, picking and carrying at close quarters until O’Callaghan evaded the grasp of both Jennings and Kane Douglas to score with 62 minutes gone. After Keatley’s conversion, Leinster managed to hit back within seven minutes. A prolonged spell of pressure ended with Jack Conan holding off JJ Hanrahan and getting his offload away for Jennings to dot down to the left of the posts. Madigan added the extras and although both packs had sniffs of the try-line late on, impressive Munster had done enough to warrant the 15-point winning margin. Anthony Foley’s men built an 11-6 interval lead in Limerick with CJ Stander crossing for a 16th-minute try. Andrew Conway came back to haunt his former team with a well-taken try in the 44th minute and during Darragh Fanning’s sin-bin period, Munster replacement Dave O’Callaghan collected try number three before Ian Keatley capped off his 13-point kicking haul. Press Association
Stoke striker Peter Crouch came off the bench to snatch a draw at Newcastle with a dramatic late equaliser. Colback might not have been on the pitch to put the Magpies ahead had referee Kevin Friend issued a second caution for a 71st-minute foul on Victor Moses. The goal briefly raised the spirits of a crowd of just 47,763 – the lowest at St James’ Park this season – but there were boos on the final whistle with Carver’s men having passed up an opportunity to climb into the top 10. Newcastle ran out knowing a second successive victory would see them leapfrog Stoke with two points separating them in the table before kick-off, and there was little to choose between the sides during a tight opening 45 minutes. The visitors, who employed Moses and Mame Biram Diouf as wide men in support of striker Jonathan Walters, enjoyed the greater share of possession before the break without creating clear-cut chances until deep into injury-time at the end of the half. But the Magpies made more of their time on the ball as they attacked largely on the break through the pace of Ayoze Perez and the skill of Remy Cabella and Sammy Ameobi. Walters fired across the face of goal after turning Mike Williamson with eight minutes gone, but it took a fine reaction save from Asmir Begovic to deny Cabella at the other end three minutes later. Ameobi slid the ball out to Moussa Sissoko wide on the left and when he crossed to the near post, Cabella glanced a header towards goal, only to see Begovic throw out a hand to turn it past the post. The Bosnian was quick off his line to prevent Sissoko from reaching Cabella’s 27th-minute return pass, but he was more comfortable in collecting Ameobi’s well-struck shot on the turn seconds later. Press Association The Magpies looked to have won an instantly forgettable game when Jack Colback fired them into a 74th-minute lead. However, Crouch headed fellow substitute Geoff Cameron’s 90th-minute cross over keeper Tim Krul to claim a 1-1 draw on Tyneside, denying head coach John Carver back-to-back Barclays Premier League victories and leaving Newcastle still awaiting a first home win of 2015. However, he was mightily relieved to see Perez’s shot fly inches past the far post two minutes before the break after he had been played in behind defender Marc Muniesa by Cabella. For all their possession, Stoke, who had Moses, Stephen Ireland and Glenn Whelan booked before the break, did not force Krul into a save of note until the second minute of stoppage time, although it was a good one when it finally arrived as the Dutchman palmed away Diouf’s point-blank header after good play by Steven Nzonzi and Ireland. The second half started in scrappy fashion with neither side able to exercise any real control, although the Magpies almost worked their way in with 53 minutes gone when Perez and Cabella combined only for the final ball to let them down. If anything, a game of little genuine quality deteriorated further as the half wore on with neither side able to summon up the inspiration to turn it in their favour. Carver made his move with 25 minutes remaining when he replaced defensive midfielder Vurnon Anita with striker Papiss Cisse. Gabriel Obertan replaced Cabella as the game limped towards its conclusion and saw Cisse head his 73rd-minute cross well wide of the target, but redemption was close at hand. The former Manchester United winger’s cross seconds later was laid off by Sissoko to Colback, who had been booked for a foul on Muniesa before catching Moses late, and he fired home first time off the inside of the post to snatch victory. Krul made smart saves from Phil Bardsley and Walters to preserve his clean sheet, but Obertan and Perez both passed up glorious opportunities to cement the win in a frenetic conclusion, and they were made to pay when Crouch rose at the far post to loop a header home despite the best efforts of Fabricio Coloccini on the line.
“To be honest, I’ve been a bit disappointed with him this season,” said Wylie. “I thought he was going to finish seventh when he came over the last in last year’s Gold Cup, but by the end, I thought he’d maybe won it. He stormed up that hill, and to come second was brilliant. I had to supplement him for the race, and I was just thinking ‘don’t make an idiot of me’. “He ran well in the Lexus, but the ground was heavy that day and it was a stamina test. That’s what he wants. In the Hennessy, it was better ground, and Ruby got off and said three miles wasn’t far enough for him. “He’s going back to the Gold Cup. It’s three-mile-two, with a hill at the end, and hopefully the greater stamina test, run at more of a pace, might suit him.” Speaking to The Northern Echo, he said: “He’ll run in the Albert Bartlett over three miles. He’s a monster, and I’m sure he’ll stay that no problem. He’s been in great form, although it’s a bit of a shame that we haven’t been able to get him out since December. “There haven’t been that many three-mile races to put him in, and that’s what he needs. Willie’s looking forward to seeing him in action again, and there’s also a chance he could roll on to Aintree and Punchestown too.” Wylie will be represented in all three novice hurdles, with last year’s Cheltenham Bumper runner-up Shaneshill in the Supreme and Nichols Canyon the favourite for the Neptune. The owner went on: “Shaneshill hasn’t been out since he came second at Navan in December because he had a setback. Willie says he’s hoping to get him to Cheltenham for us. He’s not there yet, but he’s getting there and if he lines up it’ll be in the Supreme and he’ll have a decent chance. “Willie obviously has Douvan in the race as well, and some people are saying the Supreme is not the right race for him (Shaneshill), but Willie is adamant it is. Hopefully, his stamina will come into play. “Nichols Canyon has been excellent all season, and it’s just a shame he stepped on that hurdle over Christmas (at Leopardstown) because that’s the only blemish on his record. He would have won three Grade Ones if that hadn’t happened. “He’s still a double Grade One winner, though, and if he jumps well, Ruby (Walsh) says he has tons of stamina. He’ll run in the Neptune, and he’s got a great chance.” Wylie came within inches of winning the Gold Cup 12 months ago with On His Own and while his form this year has not set the chasing scene alight, he will have another crack at the feature. The Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old has only run twice over hurdles, winning at Cork both times, with his most recent outing coming over three miles. Wylie did, however, admit his lack of jumping experience is playing on his mind a little. Owner Graham Wylie has described Black Hercules as “a monster” ahead of his run in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Press Association
Adnan Januzaj appears to be available despite coming off in the same under-21 match as Rafael with an ankle injury. “(His injury) is not so heavy,” Van Gaal said. Another piece of good news for Van Gaal is that centre-back Jonny Evans is available, having served his six-match ban for spitting at Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse. Sunday will be the first time in-form Marouane Fellaini has returned to Goodison Park since Everton sold him to United for £27.5million. Fellaini was a cult hero at Goodison Park after spending five successful years at the club, so his decision to leave for United did not go down well with a number of Everton fans. But Van Gaal has no concerns about Fellaini’s temperament, nor his ability to take his old team apart. “Marouane Fellaini has qualities and we want to let them dominate in a team and that’s why his performances are better just now,” Van Gaal said. “I have spoken with Fellaini because I know this (is his first game back there). “Fellaini is always dry in his answers. He said, ‘It’s a game…’. (I said,) ‘Yes, but it’s a special game for you’. “I hope the fans shall receive him like the Chelsea fans received Juan Mata because I like that very much. I hope it’s like that.” Last week’s defeat at Chelsea brought to an end a run of six straight wins for United. That streak had cemented their place in the top four, but Van Gaal is still not completely happy with his team’s position in the table. Ideally he would like them to be top of the pile, but he acknowledged last week that was almost impossible after dropping 11 points behind leaders Chelsea. He would still like to finish above Manchester City, who are one point behind the Red Devils in fourth, as that would mean United would qualify directly for the Champions League. Van Gaal experienced a nervy Champions League qualifier against Skonto Riga in 1997 when his Barcelona team – which included the likes of Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique and Luis Figo – edged into the group stages with a 4-2 victory over two legs. The Catalans needed a last-minute goal from Hristo Stoickhov to win the first leg at the Nou Camp and Van Gaal wants to avoid another qualifying round in August. “It is more easy (if you finish third),” he said. “Your preparation for the new season is more easy then. “Normally you have to win that kind of match because Manchester United shall be in the stronger group so it’s not very difficult. “They (the board) have set this goal (of a top four finish) for me to achieve. “I am always in a club to win the championship, not the third or fourth position. “If we achieve our goal my board and the owners will be very happy.” Van Gaal’s predecessor David Moyes was sacked after this fixture last year, with United languishing in seventh position. Van Gaal’s job is secure – even if United do not finish in the top four. In fact, the Dutchman has already started planning for next season. His scouts have been assessing potential targets and new deals have been handed to a number of players including Chris Smalling, who signed a new four-year contract this week. “We have already extended a few contracts. We are busy with next season,” Van Gaal said. Van Gaal refused to comment on speculation PSV Eindhoven forward Memphis Depay had already flown in for talks. “I don’t discuss it with the media,” Van Gaal said of the 21-year-old, who was a regular for Holland under the United manager. “I have a lot of relationships with players. I cannot buy all the players I’ve coached already.” Manchester United right-back Rafael will miss the rest of the season with a rib injury, manager Louis van Gaal has said. Rafael came off during an Under-21 game against Leicester on Monday after an aerial collision with Anthony Knockaert. And Van Gaal told MUTV on Friday that the player will miss the final five games of the campaign. Van Gaal said of the setback: “It’s unbelievable. “He has broken his ribs so he shall not play any more this season for Manchester United. It’s very unfortunate.” In truth, the news about Rafael is not such a big blow for Van Gaal. The Brazilian has not started a Barclays Premier League game for the club since October. Of more concern to the United boss is the long list of other players who are out through injury. Phil Jones (ankle), Michael Carrick (calf) and Marcos Rojo (adductor) all missed last weekend’s defeat to Chelsea and are not fit to feature at Everton on Sunday. The only man who could return is midfielder Daley Blind, who missed the 1-0 loss at Stamford Bridge due to an ankle problem. “Only Blind maybe can reach the game against Everton but Jones, Carrick and Rojo cannot play,” the Dutchman added. Press Association
Captain Andy Waterworth put last season’s Danske Bank Premiership runners-up ahead in the 57th minute and Guy Bates added a second in the 73rd minute to leave Linfield in a healthy position heading to the Faroe Islands. It is not looking so good for two of Northern Ireland’s other representatives though, with Glentoran and Glenavon both suffering home defeats. Cup-winners Glentoran were beaten 4-1 by MSK Zilina of Slovakia, for whom Matej Jelic (13), Jakub Paur (20), Lukas Cmelik (59) and Ernest Mabouka (81) struck the goals. Conor McMenamin got Glentoran on the scoresheet, but they face a huge task to get through. Glenavon also have work to do, but not as much as Glentoran, as they were beaten 2-1 by Belarus side Shakhtyor Soligorsk. It looked set to be a bad night for the hosts at Mourneview Park when Mikhail Afanasiev and Dmitri Komarovski put the visitors 2-0 up inside 30 minutes, but Mark Patton’s 86th-minute strike has given Glenavon a lifeline. In-form SSE Airtricity League Premier Division side St Patrick’s were unable to extend their five-match domestic winning streak as they lost 2-1 at Skonto Riga. Saints took a 21st-minute lead through Aaron Greene’s fine volley but the visitors failed to make the most of their chances and ended up paying the price as Skonto snatched victory with goals from Arturs Karasausks (38) and Vladislavs Gutkovskis (65). Cork City were held 1-1 at home by Icelandic side KR Reykjavik, captain Alan Bennett’s 19th-minute strike being cancelled out by Oskar Orn Hauksson nine minutes later, but University College Dublin did manage to claim a victory. UCD, who play in the Airtricity League first division after being relegated from the Premier Division at the end of the 2014 season, were handed a place in the competition when the Republic of Ireland was granted an extra berth for its third place in UEFA’s Fair Play League. And they got off to a winning start as Ryan Swan’s goal on the stroke of half-time earned them a 1-0 home triumph over Luxembourg club Dudelange. There were mixed results for the three Welsh clubs in action, with Newtown picking up a win but Airbus UK and Bala both losing. Bala were beaten 3-1 away by Differdange, although it could have been even worse for the Welsh Premier runners-up as they found themselves trailing 3-0 inside 26 minutes through goals from Omar Er Rafik, Gauthier Caron and Dejvid Sinani before Ian Sheridan pulled a goal back before the break . Broughton also suffered a 3-1 loss. They took a 28th-minute lead at home to Lokomotiva Zagreb through Wayne Riley but then conceded goals to Damir Sovsic (48), Mirko Maric (61) and substitute Marko Kolar (68) and only prevented a fourth thanks to goalkeeper James Coates, who saved a late penalty from Sovsic. It was a better night for Newtown, for whom Jason Oswell scored a stoppage-time winner to give them a 2-1 lead to take to Maltese side Valletta. Luke Boundford’s 40th-minute opener was cancelled out by Jhonnattann midway through the second half but Valletta lost captain Ian Azzopardi to a red card with five minutes to go, and Newtown capitalised through Oswell. Linfield struck twice in the second half to earn a 2-0 win over NSI Runavik in the first leg of their Europa League first qualifying round tie. Press Association
Schweinsteiger, who will become the first German to play for United’s first time, will leave behind a sizeable gap in Bayern’s squad by leaving the Allianz Arena. He has been on the Bavarian club’s books for 17 years and won eight Bundesliga titles, seven DFB-Pokals and the Champions League with Bayern among other successes. Bayern defender Philipp Lahm told Sport1 television: “It’s a pity that our paths are now dividing. We’ve been through so much together so it really is a shame. “We played football together for the first time when we were 16. We’re going to miss him. “Anybody who knows him knows that he is always looking for challenges so we’ve got to accept his decision.” Forward Thomas Muller, who has also been linked with a move to United, added: “It’s strange that Basti’s gone. He’s done sensationally for this club. “He’s not going to be forgotten in a rush. I wish him a lot of luck. This is how things work in football.” Meanwhile, former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson described Schweinsteiger as “top drawer” and a “true leader of men” who can drive the Red Devils back to the top. Robson, 58, told The Sun: “Schweinsteiger is the kind of player and personality United have been short of. “There is Michael Carrick, of course, who has that same experience and knowledge. When he was not playing last season, we saw that United were not the same team. “Schweinsteiger is absolutely top drawer and his record and reputation speak for themselves. “He is the kind of player that can lead United back to the very top.” “It started in the Olympiastadion and continued into the Allianz Arena. It was a really fantastic time and we experienced some great moments with 15 national titles, including the historic treble and other highlights. “We are always going to have a bond and I will keep you in my heart forever. “I also want to thank all the employees at the Sabener Strasse (training ground) for the great time we had together – unfortunately I can’t name everybody, but thanks for everybody, you helped me a great deal. “I hope you, dear fans, understand that I have chosen this path now. I think it’s a great challenge and I’m looking forward to it, although I will never forget you. “I will always hold you here [in my heart] and I hope we see each other again soon. Yours, Basti.” The 30-year-old midfielder added in a written statement: “The decision was very hard to make because you and FCB have and always will be an extremely important part of my life. “Nevertheless, I would like to again gain experience at a new club. “My destination is Manchester United. I hope you understand my decision. No one can take away the incredible journey we had together. #MiaSanMia.” Bastian Schweinsteiger has bid farewell to Bayern Munich fans in a statement and video posted to Twitter ahead of his move to Manchester United. The Germany captain is set to join the Premier League club upon the successful completion of a medical and said goodbye to the supporters who have followed him in Munich for the past 17 years. “Hi dear Bayern fans, and the South Stand in Munich,” Schweinsteiger said in a Twitter video. “I know that has been a lot of speculation about my future in recent weeks and months and I just wanted to thank you for the fantastic time we spent together. Press Association
The Barclays Premier League champions travel across the capital 10 points and 10 places worse off than their fifth-placed rivals, who last won the title in 1961 and whose most recent trophy was the 2008 League Cup. Chelsea have one win in 10 at White Hart Lane and their most recent trip, on New Year’s Day, exposed the frailties which have become all too familiar for Mourinho this season as Spurs won 5-3. Press Association “(There is) no pressure on them, like it is in the other four or five top teams to reach important positions,” Mourinho said. “Nobody speaks about them as title contenders, like they speak about Man City, Man United. Jose Mourinho has suggested Tottenham have it easy and are under no pressure ahead of Chelsea’s trip to White Hart Lane. “They have great conditions without the same pressure other clubs have to do magnificent work. “They lose a couple of matches and nothing happens. They are in the Europa League, and, in the group phase, to be fair, nobody cares about Europa League. “They go smoothly, step by step. They build a team. They bring in young players. They give conditions, without any kind of pressure, for the young players to develop in the team. “The club is powerful to decide, ‘We don’t sell, we don’t sell, we don’t sell’, and to decide, ‘We can invest and we can bring in this one or that one’. “Of course they need a great manager, which they have. Of course they need good players, which they have. But the conditions are very good.” Mourinho’s comments came as he recalled complimenting Mauricio Pochettino’s side in the aftermath of March’s Capital One Cup win at Wembley, when the Portuguese won the first trophy of his return. Mourinho’s third Premier League title was added soon afterwards, but the defence of both trophies appears over. It would take an unprecedented rise, plus numerous rivals dropping points, for Chelsea to retain the title or even to finish in the top four this season. Tottenham are unbeaten in 12 matches, since the opening day of the season, and Mourinho believes Spurs could win the title for the first time in 55 years. “When I watch them play it’s not a surprise for me,” said Mourinho of Spurs’ unbeaten run. “If they say they are fighting for the title, I would not laugh. I would accept it because the team is very good. “They have this season (an) even better (team) than last season. “I can imagine, with the stability they are showing, that sooner or later – I think sooner – they will be there, or win trophies or in a Champions League position.” Diego Costa is under pressure to deliver after scoring just four times this season, the most recent in the win over Norwich. The striker and Mourinho had a heated exchange at half-time of Tuesday’s win at Maccabi Tel Aviv which Mourinho afterwards played down. Yet it is clear the Portuguese wants more from Costa. “I told him, from a distance, with gestures, that I was not happy with the movement he did,” Mourinho said. “He told me also a few nice words from where he was. And nothing happened. “He’s not reading the game properly in these actions. That was my opinion. “As a striker you must read it. You have to play not just when you have the ball, but also when others have the ball. “You have to try to anticipate things. Just a question of reading the game faster. “It’s not because you score one goal against Norwich that suddenly you are again on fire. It will be a process.” John Terry could feature despite sustaining an ankle injury in Israel and missing training on Friday. “We have a little hope that it’s possible,” Mourinho added. Midfielder Ramires is a major doubt, too, having missed the Champions League tie with an undisclosed injury.
But Monk responded to the crushing 3-0 home defeat to Leicester by saying: “I have never thought I’ve had enough. “I have never quit anything in my life – I will fight as hard as I can because I want the club to do well and I want to bring success. “No-one knows the principles of the club more than myself and no-one will fight harder. That’s never in question. “It is extremely frustrating, and that is putting it nicely. I don’t know what more I can do. “I am trying to find all the ways to make it better and produce.” Monk said before the Leicester game that he felt his side had turned a corner following an improved performance in the 1-0 defeat at in-form Liverpool the previous weekend. But Swansea were soon a sorry sight as they were cut to ribbons by the league leaders, with Riyad Mahrez scoring the first two goals of his hat-trick inside the opening 22 minutes. Boos from home supporters greeted both the half-time and full-time whistle and Monk, tipped as a future England manager only a few short months ago, admitted the buck stopped with him. Beleaguered Swansea boss Garry Monk insists he will carry on fighting in his job, even though he admits he does not know what more he can do to stop the club’s slide down the Barclays Premier League. Press Association “We can talk about players or this or that but ultimately it is with me,” said Monk, 36, who has been at Swansea since joining as a player in 2004. “It is my responsibility for the results and performances. Simple as that. I pick the team, I train the team and try to do it to my best. “It is frustrating when you work hard with the players all week and see a really good attitude towards everything. “All week there was barely a day I can say there was a bad training session or they didn’t quite understand it. “Unfortunately, you go on that pitch and it doesn’t work out, and you wonder the reasons why. “Obviously confidence plays a big part in this type of run, but I think our mentality has to be stronger than ever.” Swansea’s solitary win since beating Manchester United at the end of August came at bottom club Aston Villa in late-October. In all, Swansea have taken only six points from the last 33 on offer and have now lost four of their last five games. “Of course I am worried,” Monk said. “It is not a good situation that we are in and people need to step up to the plate now. “It is a precarious situation where we are getting dragged close to the relegation places and we can’t afford to not be getting results for a sustained period. “That is very clear, but you have to trust yourself as any experienced coach will tell you. “It is not as if I have not been working on things to rectify it.” Time appears to be running out on Monk’s 22-month reign at the Liberty Stadium after a run of one win in 11 league games which has plunged Swansea from a top-four spot to being a single point above the relegation zone. Press Association Sport understands the Swansea board have grave concerns as to whether Monk can turn around the club’s fortunes and might make a change in the dug-out before Saturday’s daunting trip to Manchester City.
The CDC is reporting that the death toll stands at 22 people in 15 states from vaping.The grocery store chain Kroger will no longer sell the product at any of their locations as the CDC investigates thousands of illnesses and lung damage in the nation.A new study says exposure to nicotine from e-cigarette vapor causes lung cancer.Researchers at New York University found that vaping causes lung cancer and potentially bladder cancer in mice, concluding it is likely “very harmful” to people as well.The study funded by the National Institutes of Health is the first to link cancer to vaping definitively.The amount of smoke the mice were exposed to was similar to a person who’s vaped for about three to six years.
Trump supporters are gathering outside a Barnes & Noble in Palm Beach Gardens today for a “ticket-only” book signing featuring Donald Jr.His appearance today in Palm Beach County comes on the heals of his spirited visit with the women of “The View.”Donald Trump Junior sparred with co-hosts on ABC’s The View as he talked about his new book, “Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us, but they didn’t ask him a single question about it.Instead, he accused Joy Behar of once using blackface, which she denied, (there’s a photo) and called out Whoopi Goldberg’s comments about director Roman Polanski’s sexual assault of a minor.Tonight’s event is expected to begin at 6:30pm tonight at the Barnes and Noble across from the Gardens Mall.