Munster claim bragging rights again

Posted On Sep 20 2020 by

first_imgMunster 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 Associationlast_img read more

GFA insist Congo game is top priority

Posted On Aug 28 2020 by

first_imgThe Ghana Football Association insists that the Nations Cup qualifier against Congo remains priority number one as criticism grows that they are concentrating too much on the international friendly against England.Ghana are due to face the Congolese in a Nations Cup qualifier with a big bearing on the country’s prospects of qualifying for the 2012 Nations Cup in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.But much of the talk in the build-up to the game has been overshadowed by the prestigious friendly against the English, prompting a stinging editorial from the state-owned Graphic Sports about how too much attention is being focused on that game.GFA vice-president Fred Pappoe disagrees. “For the GFA, priority number one, two and three is the Congo game and we have made that very clear from day one. If the media chooses to focus a lot on the England game that cannot be out fault,” he said.“The game in Congo is a competitive qualifier and the one in England a friendly regardless of the pedigree and reputation of our opponents and we have to out that within the proper context.”Source: Kickofflast_img read more

76ers coach says no one has worked harder than Joel Embiid ahead of NBA’s return

Posted On Aug 13 2020 by

first_imgEmbiid’s fitness has always been a topic of discussion, and all eyes will be on the three-time All-Star center when the NBA returns following the coronavirus pandemic.MORE: TV schedule, key dates for the NBA restartPhiladelphia’s first game back will be against the Indiana Pacers, who share identical 39-26 records to be fifth and sixth respectively, on Aug. 1.And Brown had high praise for Embiid’s training and conditioning midweek.”Let’s start with the respect and applause I give him for putting in time. There is nobody on our team that has put in more time than Joel Embiid,” Brown told reporters on Wednesday.”Forget what he has actually done in the gym for a minute, just go to the man hours and consecutive days and the amount of days he has put in over the past few months. I’m proud of him, I respect him. He needed to do it. We understand the impact he can have on our team.”Coming to your screens August 1st..— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) June 27, 2020Embiid had been averaging 23.4 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game this season.”We’ve got a three-week runway to deliver him to the regular season,” Brown said. “I’m looking for Joel to come in in as good of shape as he’s been in since I have coached him.”I think the three weeks we have together is an inverted sort of luxury we haven’t had. I’m excited for Jo to get back into this and show what he has been doing the last few months.”MORE: List of NBA players opting out of return Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown said no one has worked harder than Joel Embiid as he hailed the All-Star ahead of the NBA’s return.The 2019-20 NBA season is set to restart via a 22-team format at the Disney World complex in Orlando, Fla., on July 30 after the campaign was halted due to COVID-19 in March. The 76ers — 14 games behind the Eastern Conference and NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks (53-12) — are also set to be boosted by the return of fellow All-Star Ben Simmons.Simmons has been sidelined since February due to a back injury, but Brown added: “He’s good to go. He’s put in a tremendous amount of work for me to be able to confidently say that.”As you search for silver linings with this pandemic and the way things have shaped up, it would be hard-pressed for me to find something more obvious than this: It’s enabled Ben to reclaim his health. He’s good to go, and we look forward to watching him with what I’m told is effectively 100 percent health.”last_img read more