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Who said what about Irish joy?

We start with a quiz. Here are three quotes from an enthralling weekend for two of Ireland's international teams. Who said what?

1 "Mentally, we need to toughen up a little bit."

2 "At the very high level, it's the little details that make the difference."

3 "It wasn't much fun. All ifs and buts and maybes, eh?"

(Answers below)


A list of famous Irish speeches that includes Robert Emmet (in the dock), Daniel O'Connell (Westminster) and Panti (Abbey Theatre) has been joined by one that, although brief, is being discussed around the country. On the Hogan Stand on St Patrick's Day, victorious St Vincent's captain Ger Brennan went beyond the usual "Tá áthas mór orm.." platitudes when collecting the Andy Merrigan Cup following his club's impressive All-Ireland Senior Club Championship final win. Acknowledging the unseen support a panel needs to succeed, Brennan thanked, "management, families, girlfriends and boyfriends of the players. Everyone involved.." Full marks to Brennan and his club for availing of a high-profile moment to make a stand against prejudice in a subtle way.


Critics of David Moyes might do well to remember that, at the height of his powers, even the great Alex Ferguson had an unprecedented blip. Manchester United won the League in 2000-01 for a third season in-a-row and the manager suggested he was about to retire. In December 2001, the club were ninth in the league. Fergie changed his mind about retiring, but Man United finished the season in third place behind Arsenal and Liverpool. They went out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage and did nothing in the FA Cup and League Cup competitions. That said, the Red Devils have looked rudderless under Moyes.


As Norwich were losing (4-2) at Southampton on Saturday some Canaries fans chanted, "You don't know what you're doing." But four points clear of the relegation zone and despite the three of the chasing sides having games in hand, manager Chris Hughton is adamant Norwich can survive. Set to meet Liverpool, Man United, Chelsea and Arsenal over the final four games of the season, Hughton insists: "We are capable of winning against what are regarded as the bigger clubs. At any other stage in the season, we would not be meeting them with a defeatist attitude. We have to retain belief. It is only ourselves who can get us out of this."


Answers to quotes above.

1: Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor after Ireland won their opening Group B ICC World Twenty20 qualifier match by scrambling a run on the final Zimbabwe ball.

2: France coach Philippe Saint-Andre on his squad after Ireland's Six Nations Championship-clinching victory at Stade de France.

3: England coach Stuart Lancaster describes his emotions watching Ireland's win against France.