Thursday Lunchtime Sports Update

SOCCER

Wolves defender Matt Doherty doesn’t think tonight’s opponents Slovan Bratislava have been properly punished by UEFA.

Their Europa League tie was due to be played behind closed doors due to racist chants.

But the Slovakian club have taken advantage of a loophole and gifted 21-thousand tickets to children.

Republic of Ireland international Doherty feels it undermines the punishment.

Manchester United can go to the top of their group with a win away at Partizan Belgrade.

Arsenal have a 100 per cent record at the summit of Group F ahead of their match at home to Portuguese side Vitoria.

Rangers have a tricky looking fixture in Porto – while Celtic host Italian side Lazio.

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has a serious injury concern surrounding his first choice goalkeeper ahead of next month’s Euro 2020 qualifier showdown with Denmark.

Darren Randolph saw out Middlesbrough’s goalless Championship draw with Huddersfield last night due to a thigh strain.

He could be out for up to six weeks but ‘Boro manager Jonathan Woodgate can’t be sure of that.

RUGBY

JJ Hanrahan will start Munster’s Guinness Pro 14 match against Ospreys tomorrow night on the bench.

Tyler Blyndall will wear the number 10 shirt instead of the Currow man at Musgrave Park.

Academy player Jack O’Sullivan will make his first start for Munster coming into the team at number-eight.

Calvin Nash, Neil Cronin and James Cronin also make their first starts of the season.

Jed Holloway joins Billy Holland in the second-row as the Reds look to make it three wins from four in Conference B.

RUGBY UNION

England head-coach Eddie Jones has played down talk of “mind games” ahead of Saturday’s World Cup semi-final with New Zealand.

He suggested earlier in the week someone was spying on their training session.

Jones was challenged about those comments after he named his team for the match this morning.

George Ford comes in for Henry Slade in the only change to their starting line-up.

Defending champion New Zealand have also made one change with Scott Barrett coming into the back-row for Sam Cane.

Hooker Codie Taylor will win his 50th cap for the All-Blacks.

GOLF

Tiger Woods has hit the lowest opening round of his career to take a share of the lead at the first PGA Tour golf event in Japan.

He’s tied with fellow American Gary Woodland on 6-under-par – one shot clear of the rest of the field.

Woods says things started going his way after a difficult start.

Open champion Shane Lowry is one-over after his first round, Rory McIlroy two-over and Graeme McDowell is 11-over-par.

Paul Dunne is one-under-par after nine holes of his opening round at the Portugal Masters.

He’s six shots behind leader Louis de Jager.

Gavin Moynihan, Michael Hoey and Padraig Harrington are among the afternoon starters.