Brendan O'Brien - Columnist - IRISH EXAMINER

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Ireland may have to endure some November pain

The new European gig was gripping at times but it did little to divert the impression the provinces are slipping under the shadow of an Ireland team on the up.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Can you call yourself a ‘true’ sports fan?

Brian O’Driscoll’s latest book supposedly makes for an interesting read when digested in large chunks, but the extracts have fallen well short of Roy Keane’s on the Richter scale.

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Ian Keatley

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Keatley Irish selection at Jackson’s expense a major call by Schmidt

Ian Keatley’s inclusion and Paddy Jackson’s absence will prompt much of the debate surrounding the squad Joe Schmidt has chosen to do battle with South Africa, Georgia and Australia next month.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Spirit of the Gael can only bring Ireland so far

Since that 1-0 defeat of the Dutch 13 years ago, Ireland have played 32 competitive games at Lansdowne Road, Croke Park and at the Aviva.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Another moment of magic in Germany for proud O’Neill

It has been an international period dominated by his assistant Roy Keane, but Martin O’Neill was entitled to the final word last night.

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Robbie Keane

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Keane front and centre for Ireland

For all the talk of Martin O’Neill and his horses for courses, there was a familiar look to Ireland’s pre-match press conference at the Veltins Arena last night as Robbie Keane took his place beside the national team manager, writes Brendan O'Brien.

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Joachim Loew Training

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Bracing for the backlash from Germany

FEW teams marry style and substance like ‘Die Mannschaft’, writes Brendan O'Brien.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Pain-free Keane insists team comes before goal records

Robbie Keane is no stranger to headlines, but edging namesake Roy off the back pages yesterday stands up there with the most remarkable of his achievements given he was performing against a side like Gibraltar.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Big hitters making the TV deals you’ll pay for

Let’s start with a question. What, in your opinion, is the most important fixture on the sports calendar this week?

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Jimmy Gopperth

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Reds ‘outpassioned’ us, says chastened Gopperth

Too often we lump antipodeans into the same cultural basket.

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Anthony Foley

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Provinces find themselves at crossroads on and off the rugby pitch

It is hard to avoid the sense that Ireland’s rugby provinces now find themselves at a crossroads, suggests Brendan O'Brien

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: American plates piled high with local delicacies

Not a puck did we see of Saturday’s All-Ireland hurling final replay.

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Eamonn Fitzmaurice

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Fitz embraces feeling

Feelings.
You won’t hear managers talk about their innermost ones all too often, but Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s year has been punctuated with an inner sense that things were slotting in to place if an All-Ireland title was to be claimed.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Irish cricket set for golden age after Indian summer

You may or may not have heard the news about Cricket Ireland’s rather stunning sponsorship coup earlier this week.

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Eoin Reddan

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Reddan won’t be looking over his shoulder for rising stars

The first interpro of the rugby season slides into focus on Friday as Connacht host Leinster but Eoin Reddan won’t be paying any heed to the familiar subplots comparing rival players and their Test place chances.

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Eamon McGee

BRENDAN OBRIEN: McGee: Attitude right to take care of ‘unfinished business’

Eamon McGee just couldn’t take it anymore.

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Paul Durcan

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Durcan hoping to steer Donegal into winning position again

Ask Paul Durcan what swung the All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin in favour of Donegal and he will plump for what he terms his side’s "exceptional attacking play", but the goalkeeper was the lead character in the passion play’s seminal moment.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Clubs stranded between a rock and a hard place

The changing names of those clubs filling out the fixtures and tables are to be welcomed on the basis that change is not to be feared.

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Jim Gavin - dignified in defeat

BRENDAN OBRIEN: The angry approach to management

If the last week has shown us anything — and we say this without any intended pun regarding the coming All-Ireland hurling final between Kilkenny and Tipperary — it is that there is more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to the tricky business of managing a team.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Little to stir the blood in lifeless affair

That’s that, then. The last box finally ticked after eight largely forgettable friendlies that yawned across the course of 10 interminable months, in four different countries and against opposition from three continents.

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James O'Donoghue

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Mayo must find an antidote to Kerry viper O’Donoghue, suggests Brendan O'Brien.

Just over three weeks ago, James Horan sat in Hotel Ballina’s Ox Room and dished out quotes ahead of last Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry with all the usual boxes being ticked before journalists, players and coaches went their separate ways into the still balmy night.

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Ireland boss Martin O'Neill: Facing a very real task to qualify for Euro 2016

BRENDAN OBRIEN: It’s time for new heroes to stand up for Boys in Green

Last June one year, a Scottish team replete with journeymen pros without a win in any of the six competitive games they had played up until then in their World Cup qualifying campaign, travelled to Zagreb and came away with a 1-0 win against the world’s then fourth-highest ranked side.

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Ger Cunningham

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Cunningham defends JBM’s ‘fantastic record’

Three days on and the soul-searching continues.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Go get a look at Magali’s try, it was simply magnifique

If you have yet to see Magali Harvey’s try for Canada against France in Wednesday’s second Women’s World Cup semi-final then all that can be said is get thee to a computer or a smartphone ASAP. This story is enriched with multi-media content

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Rugby’s continued growth shows no sign of stopping

Sports journalists, like the people they write or talk about, are creatures of habit. It’s human nature to lean on the familiar, of course, but this job sure does reinforce that point.

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