Morning Sports Update

SOCCER

Northern Ireland will need to come from behind in Switzerland if they want to make the World Cup in Russia.

They lost 1-nil to Switzerland in their play-off first leg in Belfast – with the referee the centre of attention.

He gave the visitors a dubious looking penalty for handball – and failed to send off Fabian Schar for a lunge on Stuart Dallas early in the game.

Manager Boss Michael O’Neill tells Sky Sports News, they can’t afford to dwell on those things

The two teams meet again in Basel on Sunday.

The Republic of Ireland train at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen today as the countdown continues to the World Cup Playoff against Denmark.

Stephen Ward and Jeff Hendrick had been injury doubts this week but the Burnley pair were able to return to full training yesterday.

Danish legend Peter Schmeichel is expecting a cagey affair tomorrow.

The former Manchester United goal keeper says Denmark should have a conservative approach

Croatia have one foot on the plane to Russia.

They thrashed Greece 4-1 in Zagreb.

 RUGBY

Bundee Aki and Jacob Stockdale will be among those training at the Aviva Stadium today.

Irish skipper Rory Best will take his team through the Captain’s Run ahead of tomorrow’s November International against South Africa.

The Connacht centre has been named in Joe Schmidt’s team for the first time, while it will be Stockdale’s first home game.

Schmidt admits the Spingboks will be a big test for the 21 year old Ulster winger

Former Ireland captain Fiona Coghlan will lead the Barbarians in their first ever Women’s fixture today.

They play Munster at Thomond Park, with the Province to be captained by Kerry’s Siobhan Fleming.

It will be the opening game of a Barbarians double header.

Donnacha O’Callaghan, John Muldoon and Jordi Murphy will be among those who will line out for prestigious invitational side against Tonga.

SNOOKER

Ronnie O’Sullivan will play Anthony Hamilton in the semi-finals of the Champion of Champions tournament this evening.

O’Sullivan was in stunning form as he defeated John Higgins 6-nil in their quarter-final last night.

HORSE RACING

DUNDALK
Friday, November 10
First Race: 5.30pm

The rivalry between Colin Keane and Pat Smullen didn’t just begin during the last turf Flat season, it’s probably a forgotten fact that they tied for the Winter series jockey’s championship last season. More fireworks can be expected for the coming few months as the second meeting of the winter series takes place this evening, with Smullen having a particularly attractive book of rides.

The Des Donovan-trained Menelik could be hard to peg back in the opening Dundalk Stadium Claiming Race (5.30), while Smullen also has excellent chances on two Michael Halford-trained horses later on the card. If Platinum Warrior can repeat the form of his close second in a C&D maiden a month ago he should have every chance of landing the two-year-old maiden (6.30), and he also looks to have very strong claims on previous course winner Katiymann in the Floodlit Friday Nights Handicap (7.00)

The aforementioned juvenile maiden also sees a debut for the Wayne Lordan-ridden Bridport, representing the Melbourne Cup-winning connections of trainer Joseph O’Brien and owner Lloyd Williams.

The eight-race card at Dundalk Stadium gets underway at 5.30 and the going is standard.