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RLI recognised as sport body

RUGBY LEAGUE Ireland today hailed a breakthrough after gaining recognition as a national sporting body by the Irish Sports Council.

The announcement ends a two-year campaign by RLI's executive committee and comes just days after the staging of the first rugby league match in Limerick, where 3,100 saw Ireland face France in the union stronghold of Thomond Park.

RLI general manager Gordon Matthews said: "It's great to get recognition from the Sports Council as we continue to grow as a sport. We look forward to working alongside the ISC to develop the game here."

Djokovic eases through in Paris

Tennis: Novak Djokovic dismissed Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-4 6-3 in the second round of the Paris Masters yesterday, showing no signs of the shoulder injury that bothered him last weekend in Switzerland.

If Djokovic hadn't played in Paris, he would have lost a $1.6m bonus paid to the year-end No1 player for appearing in seven of the eight mandatory Masters events.

Meanwhile, Amy Bowtell battled her way to the second round of the ITF Women's Circuit event in Loughborough with a 4-6 6-3 6-3 win over Britain's Aimee Gibson.

Allegations see US coach sacked

GRIDIRON: Famed US college football coach Joe Paterno and the president of Penn State University have been fired over allegations that a former assistant coach sexually abused young boys for years.

During his 46 years as head coach, Paterno, 84, won two national championships.

Two die in boat crash in Florida

SAILING: Two offshore powerboat racers died yesterday after their catamaran went airborne at high speed and crashed, marring the opening of three days of racing at the Key West World Championship, officials said.

Big Thunder Marine -- a 46-foot (14m) Skater catamaran with four 1,200hp engines that competed in the Superboat Unlimited Class -- came down so hard that its right front hull was severely damaged.

Superboat International president John Carbonell said: "He was probably going about 130mph. The boat caught some air and went bow up."