Evening Sports Update

RUGBY

Bundee Aki’s Rugby World Cup is over.

The Irish centre has received a 3 match ban today at a disciplinary hearing following his red card for a dangerous tackle in Saturday’s Pool A win over Samoa.

World Rugby have said in a statement that an Independent Judicial Committee upheld the decision by referee Nic Berry.

The committee says they came to their decision as there was direct contact of the player’s left shoulder to the ball carrier’s head and they did not accept that there was a low degree of danger.

The statement goes on to say that although the tackle occurred quickly, the player’s tackle height was high and it was accepted he (Aki) did not make a definite attempt to change his height in order to avoid the ball carrier’s head.

Aki will therefore miss Ireland’s quarter-final against New Zealand on Saturday as well as the semi-final and final should Ireland qualify.

If Ireland do not qualify for these games, he’ll be out for his next club match or matches with Connacht in the PRO14 on his return from international duty.

Meanwhile, Johnny Sexton says being the underdogs at the weekend may work in their favour.

Speaking to reporters this morning, the out-half said they have not peaked yet at the tournament and that may stand to them

SOCCER

The Republic of Ireland squad has trained at tomorrow evening’s match venue in Geneva today as preparations continue for their crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against Switzerland.

Mick McCarthy’s side sit top of Group D, level on points with Denmark, and know they have to win one of their last two games to make it to next summer’s tournament.

As David McGoldrick has failed to recover from a groin injury, Aaron Connolly could be in line to start; just days after his senior debut.

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England can guarantee their qualification tonight, with two games to go.

Gareth Southgate’s side can advance with an away win over Bulgaria if Kosovo don’t beat Montenegro.

RACING

Joseph O’Brien has recored his 500th winner as a trainer today.

His 3-year-old Pasley won the 5.20 at Gowran Park today, with brother Donnacha on board.

Kevin Brouder is having the time of his life and was a winner again at Galway on Tuesday. He teamed up with Clarinbridge-based Barry Murphy to land the rated novice hurdle on the well-supported 11/4 favourite Pakens Rock. Owned by Raymond Healy, the six-year-old made all the running under the Listowel jockey and went clear turning for home to win by 11 lengths from the Pat Fahy-trained Drop The Anchor. It was his 28th winner of the season and gave him a share of third place, level with Davy Russell, behind Paul Townend and Darragh O’Keeffe in the jockeys’ championship.

Phillip Enright certainly enjoyed his weekend and kicked it off by landing the beginners’ chase at Downpatrick on Friday on the Eoin Doyle-trained Stylish Moment. The 20/1 chance went on from the penultimate fence and had loads in hand as he beat the Noel Meade-trained Guided By You to the line. The Tralee man was also a winner at Limerick on Sunday where Penny Out took the mares’ handicap hurdle. Trained by john Kiely, the 8/1 chance made all the running Phillip Enright to score by 10 lengths from the Eric McNamara-trained Lily Trotter.

Jack Kennedy partnered the first two winners at Fairyhouse on Saturday afternoon for trainer Gordon Elliott who recorded a personal treble on the card. The Dingle jockey took the mares’ beginners’ chase on even money favourite Tintangle and followed up straight away on Champagne Classic which won the 2m5f beginners’ chase, again in the colours of Gigginstown House Stud and at odds of even money.