Morning Sports Update

RUGBY

Munster have their Heineken Champions Cup destiny in their own hands this morning.

Joey Carbery crossed for a pair of tries, with Munster running in five in total for a 41-15 bonus point win away to Gloucester.

Mike O’Halloran reviews the game

Munster can secure a home quarter final with a win over Exeter at Thomond Park next week.

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Leinster start with Ross Byrne at out-half in the absence of captain Jonathan Sexton for this afternoon’s Pool 1 meeting with Toulouse.

Kick off at the RDS is at 1.

Elsewhere in the pool, Bath entertain Wasps.

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Ulster need to pull off an unlikely victory if they’re to keep alive hopes of progress from Pool 4.

Leaders Racing are in Belfast, but the hosts have the likes of Rory Best and Jacob Stockdale restored to their side.

Kick off at Kingspan Stadium is at 3.15.

Elsewhere in pool 4, Leicester go to the Scarlets.

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In the Challenge Cup, there’s a top-of-the-table Pool 3 clash at the Sportsground where Connacht take on leaders Sale from 3pm

SOCCER

With Manchester City not playing until Monday, Liverpool can re-establish a seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League this afternoon with victory away to Brighton.

But Jurgen Klopp is light on centre-halves, with Dejan Lovren the latest to visit the treatment room at Melwood.

Today’s action gets underway at 12.30, with the meeting of West Ham and Arsenal.

The focus of the days is mainly at the bottom of the table, with rock bottom Huddersfield away to a Cardiff side just two-points above the dropzone.

Another pair of strugglers meet at Turf Moor with Burnley facing Fulham.

Elsewhere, Crystal Palace take on Watford

Southampton go to Leicester.

And the late game sees Rafa Benitez take Newcastle to his former side Chelsea.

Leeds United have moved five-points clear at the top of the Championship with a 2-nil win at home to Derby.

BOXING

Katie Taylor can take a step closer to becoming the undisputed lightweight champion of the world in March.

She’s been confirmed to fight WBO champion Rose Volante (PR: Voe-lan-tay) in Philadelphia on St. Patrick’s weekend.

Taylor is looking to add a third title to her WBA and IBF belts.

GAELIC GAMES

In a week where the focus was on the county’s footballers, Cork’s hurlers can secure the first silverware of 2019.

They face Clare in the final of the McGrath Cup this afternoon, with throw-in at Miltown-Malbay at 2.

While the spectre of penalties looms over the O’Byrne Cup semi finals.

Should the meeting of Dublin and Meath at Parnell Park, or Westmeath and Longford at The Downs end in a draw then they’ll go straight to spot kicks.

RACING

There’s a seven-race card at Fairyhouse this afternoon, with the first going to post at 12.25.

The €100,000 BetVictor Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase (2.10) is the richest race down for decision.

Gordon Elliott has won this race for the last two years with Ball D’arc and Doctor Phoenix and the Cullentra House trainer has four of the ten runners declared headed by course winner Duca De Thaix under Davy Russell. The French-bred figures prominently at the head of the market for owners Gigginstown who also run stable companions’ A Toi Phil and Tycoon Prince along with the Noel Meade-trained Bel Ami De Sivola and Henry De Bromhead’s Avenir D’Une Vie.

Elliott’s fourth runner is the consistent Cubomania who has proved a good money spinner for his owners, the Cubomania Syndicate, and finished a creditable second off a 1lb lower mark at Leopardstown last time. Robbie Power teams up with him for the first time in public here and he is also declared for a Grade 3 novice chase over two-and-a-half miles at Punchestown on Sunday.

Champion trainer Willie Mullins won this race with Turban back in 2014 and his sole challenger is the JP McManus-owned Blazer while Kildorrery, amateur-ridden on his last five starts, is now partnered by Ruby Walsh for his father Ted, so the market should provide some useful clues.

The going at Fairyhouse is good, good to yielding in places.

All eyes were on the feature Bet Victor-sponsored Fast-Track Qualifier at Dundalk last evening where Jim Bolger’s Theobald landed the odds without much fuss.

Sent to post an 8-13 favourite, Theobald got the job done nicely under Kevin Manning.

Joseph O’Brien’s strength in depth over both codes is massive right now and the Owning Hill-based handler continued his fine run with Numerian landing the Bet Victor-sponsored maiden at Dundalk.

Ridden by Wayne Lordan, Numerian picked up well in the closing stages to score in the colours of Joseph’s mother Anne Marie.

Ado McGuinness enjoyed a great start to his evening at Dundalk sending out the opening two winners with Ken’s Sam’s and Georgian Bay.

After Ken’s Sam’s landed the opening sprint handicap under Shane Foley, Georgian Bay made light work of his rivals in the following claimer under Tom Madden.

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