The weekend ahead
The weekend ahead promises so much with a host of Irish teams in action in various sports, Boxer Michael O Reilly will box for Gold after securing his place at the Rio Games. Ireland’s rugby teams will be out in force this weekend as the Women’s 7s side bid for Olympic qualification as they face 15 other teams in pursuit of the last remaining spot for Rio 2016. The men’s senior side go for a series win in South Africa with the series nicely poised at 1-1 and lastly the Under 20s are in action in the World Rugby Under 20 Championship Final at the AJ Bell Stadium with a 7pm kick off.
In the last 7 day’s two of our national sides went above and beyond in search of glory and delivered victories in style firstly the 20s dispatched a very wound up Argentina side in real style scoring an impressive 37-7 win and then on Wednesday evening the Irish football team did likewise seeing off Italy to secure a place in the last 16 at the Euro’s after dominating possession for most of the 90 minutes it took until the 84th minute for the deadlock to be broken with Wes Hoolahan delivering the killer pass for Robbie Brady to head past a despairing Italian keeper. Que pandemonium in the commentary box, studio, stands and in one million homes across the island.
This result meant that Ireland booked a place in the last 16 against the hosts France who we have some chequered history with to say the least. We have been told it won’t be brought up by the players , Its history , I very much doubt that… That will be used to motivate the team and fire them up all they can do on Sunday is try and play with the same intensity that we saw last Wednesday and by god they will run France very close.
The Women 7s side for their part have one shot at Olympic qualification in front of a vocal home crowd in UCD tomorrow from 10am. They have participated in the year’s World series finishing 12th of 14 competing team’s but with a good home support they will still feel they are in with a real shout to win this one….
The 20s for their part have beaten all before them and are one win away from being crowned World Champions and face England in the Final having beaten all before them, they are a game away from joining that famous Under 19 crew who won World Cup honours in 1998 in that side were Brian O Driscoll and Donnacha O Callaghan. Go for it boys immortality awaits you !!
So as people can see it will be a weekend of high drama and for once we won’t be the neutral in the corner of the bar, we will have to play a central role in most of this weekend’s sporting drama so here’s hoping all teams will gain wins and let the party continue because if the last few days has shown Irish people love a party so it’s over to the men and women of our National teams to see what happens. The floors all yours’s guys , shoot for the stars because the country is fully behind you……
Cian Mc Gibney