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Breaking Curses, Fish And Chips And Munster Kiwis - The Best Of Balls This Week

Breaking Curses, Fish And Chips And Munster Kiwis - The Best Of Balls This Week
By Michael McCarthy Updated

What a week!

It was the week when one event shook our very foundations and made us question everything we've ever believed. How could this be? Something we were told would never happen, could never happen! The world is a very different place than it was seven days ago.

Yes, after 111 years and 29 attempts, Ireland finally beat the All Blacks.

There was plenty more happening too in the world of sport, a blessed relief from the troubles of the world. From our dodgy Austrian history to a seven-foot tall Irish teenager who could be the next basketball superstar, sit back, relax, and enjoy some of our best stuff from the last week and forget for a few minutes that the world is going to hell in a handcart.

 

All Hail The Man Who Brought Us To The Promised Land

Believe it or not, there were people who questioned Joe Schmidt before last Saturday. Despite winning two Six Nations, beating South Africa away and coming closer than any coach in Irish history to beating the All Blacks, some weren't too happy when he signed a new contact recently, Donny Mahoney on why it was Schmidt's destiny to achieve what he did last weekend in Chicago.

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READ: Joe Schmidt Stayed In Ireland For Days Like Saturday

What Inspired That McGregor 'Taunt'?

The defining image of the McGregor-Alvarez fight will be McGregor with his hands behind his back, moments before putting Alvarez out cold. In the post-match interview explained he wasn't so much taunting Alvarez as preserving strength in his own injured right hand.

Read: McGregor Offers Reasoning For 'Taunt' Against Eddie Alvarez At UFC 205

A Curse Is Only There To Be Broken:

It really was a bizarre sporting sequence. For the Chicago Cubs to end the most famous drought in world sport, and then for Ireland, just three days later, in that very city to end an even longer hoodoo is just bizarre, and a little scary. Ending sporting curses though is nothing new. Conor Neville's had a look at the times that everybody but Mayo has finally has the dreaded curse lifted.

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READ: From Biddy Early To Babe Ruth: 6 Times Sporting Curses Came To An End

 

The Harry Ramsdens' Challenge - Big Jack's Most Infamous Dinner:

There were a lot of signs of the decline of Big Jack and his great team during the latter half of the Euro 96 Qualifying campaign, but it's the two 3-1 defeats to a terribly poor Austria team that still make Irish fans shudder at the thought of them. Trap didn't do much better against them in the 2014 campaign either. Conor Neville looks at our dismal record against tonight's opponents just to put us in the mood...

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READ: "I Liked The Fish And Chips And So Did The Players" - Ireland v Austria: A Dismal Record

David Beats Goliath

Lost in a massive weekend of Irish sport is a massive story from football Leinster intermediate. A parish of 500 in Westmeath knocked off the biggest sports club in North Dublin yesterday. We got the inside story.

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Read: David Well And Truly Defeated Goliath In The Leinster Intermediate Football Championship

A GAA Miracle: 

He's one of the greats of hurling but Richie Power's career came to an end last year because of chronic knee injuries - or so we thought. Richie was back last week to win the Kilkenny Intermediate Championship alongside his brothers. PJ Browne wrote about the most GAA of stories.

READ: 'Better Than Any All-Ireland' - Richie Power's Hurling Career Is Back From The Dead

Transgender Sport

Is it one of the last remaining taboos in sport? What's it like for transgender athletes competing in sport in Ireland? Conall Cahill spoke to two people making their way and hoping for Olympic glory.

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READ: Do Transgender People Feel Excluded From Sport?

Munster Kiwis - A Fine Tradition: 

Munster's links to New Zealand extend far beyond a certain match in the 70s. Ahead of last night's game against the Maoris, Gavan Casey looks back on some of the greatest New Zealanders to wear red.

READ: Ranking The Top 10 New Zealanders To Ever Play For Munster

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A True Insight Into Joe Schmidt's Genius

Joe Schmidt some interesting adjustments after Ireland lost to the All Blacks in 2013. Those bore fruit the last weekend.

Read: The Small Change In Training Made By Joe Schmidt That Led To Beating The All Blacks

Clondalkin Kid Next Big Thing In American Basketball?

Aiden Harris Igiehon from Clondalkin is not someone we knew too much about until this week, but from what we've seen here, the possibilities are endless.

READ: Watch: 6'10" Irishman Has Insane Basketball Highlight Reel At 17 Years Old

30 Years Since The Biggest Managerial Appointment Of All Time: 

Alex Ferguson celebrated 30 years since his appointment as Manchester United manager last week. He took over from Ron Atkinson, and had a remarkably shaky first four years before spending the next 23 as the most successful manager of all time. United fans weren't to know any of this at the time though, as Gavin Cooney found out.

READ: The True Reason Man United Sacked Ron Atkinson And Appointed Alex Ferguson Thirty Years Ago

 

Rio Is Just Behind Us, But For Some, Tokyo Is Already Just Around The Corner:

For most of us, the next Olympics are barely a blip on the radar. We got through Rio and they won't mean anything to us again for very close for four full years. For some though, Tokyo is already their only focus. Four years of personal sacrifice and grueling schedules are already well under way, and Conall Cahill found out when he met with four Irish hopefuls.

READ: Olympic Dreams: Four Athletes Already Sacrificing Everything For Tokyo 2020

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