French failure gives Irish more reason for regret

Pele and Moore: Mutual Respect

World Cups always throw up images that get ingrained into the history of football. Whether it be Pele and Bobby Moore swapping shirts, Marco Tardelli’s manic celebration, or Paul Gascogine blubbering, each edition of the tournament provides iconic moments that will be forever remembered and for the most part cherished. So far in South Africa 2010, we are yet to witness anything quite as stirring as the three aforementioned examples. On the pitch at least. But the image of the French fitness coach, Robert Duverne, hurling his stopwatch across an empty training ground is a snapshot of the biggest non-vuvuzela related controversy of this World Cup. A controversy than has finally given the Irish something to smile about.

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Wish you were here

He really is injured, honest.

Over the past few weeks, the anticipation is reaching unprecedented levels as the 2010 World Cup edges ever closer. Unfortunately, there have been an unusually high number of injuries to numerous high profile stars. The African teams have been particularly hit with Chelsea duo Michael Essien and Jon Obi Mikel absent for Ghana and Nigeria respectively, and Ivory Coast talisman Didier Drogba struggling with a suspected broken elbow. Injuries are common place in football, which is still, despite the attempts of many referees, a contact sport. However some players will be missing the marquee event in rather different, and in some cases, tragic circumstances. Continue reading

Ireland avoid familiar faults in RDS triumphs

Macken: Faultless

When someone mentions the RDS, my mind immediately wanders to a sport that rarely enters my thoughts. The mercurial world of show-jumping. After all, the initials RDS stand for Royal Dublin Showgrounds. Where better to see the legendary Eddie Macken steer an immaculately groomed mare around a litany of fences and various water hazards in the quickest possible time? More recently, it has been home to the ever-expanding rugby bandwagon Leinster for their Magner’s League and European Cup matches. Last week, Ireland’s footballers arrived at the Ballsbridge venue, in the shadow of their future home and gave manager Giovanni Trapattoni plenty to ponder over the summer months.

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