It was a tough day in Shizouka for the Irish Rugby team as they went down 19-12 to a determined home team. Garry Ringrose started at 13 and he was one of the players that was constantly trying to spark something.Rhys Ruddock came on at 53 mins and Andrew Porter at 64 mins and they tried to bring a new energy to a tiring Irish side but they were up against a Japanese team who were more inspired as the game went on and were worthy winners. Jordi Murphy has now joined up with the squad ahead of the game against Russia.
Conor O’Shea has helped guide Italy to two comprehensive wins against Namibia and Canada in Pool B at the RWC.
Noel Reid had a fantastic debut with Leicester Tigers and awarded the official Man of the Match award. He scored a penalty and conversion but it was his control of the game and some sublime touches that led Leicester to a 27-7 win over Exeter.
In miserable conditions Connacht came out second best to Scarlets. The busy Eoghan Masterson went over for a 53rdmin try but it wasn’t enough to get back into the game or even get a losing bonus point. It wasn’t a day for the Connacht backline which featured Matt Healy, Tom Dalyand Tiarnan O’Halloran and they weren’t given much ball to play with.
It was great to see Jerry Sexton run out for his PRO14 debut with the Southern Kings, unfortunately it wasn’t a winning debut as they went down 31-27 to Cardiff. Jerry is going to be a key man for the Kings as the season progresses.
Munster has a comprehensive 39-9 win over the Dragons. Fineen Wycherley worked tirelessy in the pack for the entire game & Darren Sweetnam was looking spritely on the wing. Darren O’Shea came on in the final quarter and bagged himself a try just before the game finished. It was great to see James Cronin back in competitive action and got a solid quarter under his belt.
Ulster will be delighted with their 38-14 win over the Ospreys. Greg Jones played the full game at 8 and did a fantastic job, bringing great speed and vigour to the Ulster back row. Eric O’Sullivan came in for the final quarter and added to the game.
Leinster had to work hard for their 32-27 win over Zebre. Captain Ross Molony gave it everything for 60 mins when he was replaced. The dynamic and skilful Caelan Doris showed an array of his talents at number 8. The experience and solidity of James Tracy was brought into the game in the 53rdminute.
Sinead Goldrickwas nominated for her 7thAll Star. She also helped her club Foxroxk Cabinteely to their 5thSenior County Title.
Sarah Rowe was also nominated for and All Star award and guided her club to the Mayo Intermediate title.
Joy Neville was on a panel at Sport Northern Ireland Game Changer conference where she spoke about her playing career and now her career as a top level referee.