As we put another weekend of tremendous sporting action behind us, let’s take a look at the winners and losers from the past few days.
Winners: Irish Rugby Team
Another fantastic weekend for Joe Schmidt’s side who continued their incredible year by adding a 2-1 test series victory over The Wallabies in Australia to the Six Nations Grand Slam crown they won in March.
A first test series win in Australia since 1979, Ireland have the boot of Johnny Sexton to thank after another tremendous display at out-half saw him score 15 of his side’s 20 points in Sydney.
CJ Stander grabbed a try in the second half and despite a sustained spell of Australian pressure, Ireland held on for a historic win, with Sexton’s late penalty putting daylight between the two sides.
Another accolade for an Irish team that seems to be getting better and better.
Winners: Kerry Footballers
A routine victory for Kerry over rivals Cork in the Munster final on Saturday evening at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
A sixth provincial title in a row for the Kingdom, who were simply too strong for their opponents, with Paul Geaney’s two goals assuring that it was a 17 point win and a comfortable day at the office for Kerry.
Cork had started off the game quite well but Geaney’s first goal took the sting out of the rebels, who trailed by seven points at halftime, and are still without a championship victory over Cork since 2012.
Kerry will go into the Super 8s full of confidence with their young side seemingly starting to hit form when it really matters.
Winners: English National Team
Is this finally the year?? Is football finally coming home? It’s still quite unlikely, but England gave their fans another reason to believe on Sunday after a 6-1 drubbing of minnows Panama saw them safely through to the last 16.
Captain Harry Kane bagged a hattrick as England dominated their significantly inferior opposition who could not handle the speed of Southgate’s men on the attack and struggled massively to defend the likes of John Stones and Harry Maguire at set-pieces.
A clash to decide the group winners against Belgium awaits on Thursday and England will be keen to test their young side against one of the most impressive teams in the tournament so far.
Losers: Cork Footballers
A little harsh perhaps on a Cork side who weren’t heading into Saturday’s Munster final with high expectations, but the way in which they were completely turned over by a strong Kerry team will certainly be cause for concern.
The Rebels forward line had been a key part of their journey to this year’s provincial final and despite grabbing two goals they only managed to knock over four points, with the usually so prolific Luke Connolly managing just one point from play.
Another heavy defeat from their rivals Kerry who they’ve not beaten in six years. A disappointing evening at Pairc Ui Chaoimh for Cork’s footballers.
Losers: John Lacey
Not the most well-recognised name in Irish rugby but referee John Lacey was the talk of many fans following New Zealand’s victory over France on Saturday.
Lacey seemed to clearly obstruct French scrum-half Baptiste as he went to tackle New Zealand’s Damian McKenzie who as a result of the incident was able to run unchallenged and score under the posts.
The Irish referee then declined to review the decision via TMO allowing the try to stand, in a game which the All-Blacks went onto win, completing a whitewash in the series.
A controversial incident in a controversial test series.
Losers: Polish National Team
An early exit for a Polish side that entered this year’s World Cup confident of going far in the tournament.
A second convincing loss in a row, this time to Columbia means that Poland will bow out of the tournament at the group stage. In their two games, they have looked flat, devoid of ideas and oftentimes disinterested, conceding five goals and scoring one.
Key man and captain Robert Lewandowski has shown very little for his side even though he is essentially in the shop window with many reports saying that Real Madrid could well be his next club.
They face Japan in the last game with nothing to play for but pride.
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