The Week in Sport (20-26 Mar)

It is time for another recap of The Week in Sport with this week’s highlights including Sebastien Vettel kicking off the new Formula One season with victory at the Australian Grand Prix and much more.

Football

Republic of Ireland maintained their unbeaten run in the World Cup qualifiers in a 0-0 draw with ten-man Wales, but the Boys in Green will be without Seamus Coleman for the rest of the campaign after the Everton right-back suffered a broken leg.

Neil Taylor is given his marching orders after a horror challenge on Seamus Coleman
image: dailymail.co.uk

Goals from Jermain Defoe and Jamie Vardy gave England a 2-0 win over Lithuania, Chris Martin snatched a late 1-0 win for Scotland against Slovenia and Northern Ireland moved up to second in group C with a 2-0 win over Norway.

David Silva and Diego Costa were on target as Spain thrashed Israel 4-1, Gianluigi Buffon played in his 1000th game as Italy beat Albania 2-0 and Germany maintained their 100% start in Group C with a 4-1 win over Azerbaijan.

Olivier Giroud scored twice in France’s 3-1 win over Luxembourg, while Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a brace as European champions Portugal thrashed Hungary 3-0. More World Cup qualifying results here.

There was another set-back for The Netherlands after they fell to a 2-0 defeat to Bulgaria and as a result, Danny Blind has been sacked as head coach of Oranje after two years in charge.

Brazil edged closer to qualification as a hat-trick from ex Spurs man Paulinho helped them to a 4-1 win over Uruguay, while a Lionel Messi penalty helped Argentina beat Chile 1-0 to keep them on track to qualify for the World Cup.

Lukas Podolski scoring a stunning strike on his last appearance for Germany in a 1-0 friendly win over England, while Steven Naismith scored the equaliser in Scotland’s 1-1 friendly draw with Canada.

In other news, Man United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has agreed to join MLS side Chicago Fire, while it is reported that under-fire boss Arsene Wenger could sign a new deal at Arsenal, after the club denied making an approach for Dortmund gaffer Thomas Tuchel.

Rugby

Leinster were made to work to stay top of the Pro 12 table, as Ross Molony’s 66th minute try helped Leo Cullen’s side edge past Cardiff Blues 22-21 at the RDS.

Ronan O’Mahony crossed the line twice as Munster thrashed Zebre 50-14 to strengthen their grip on a top four spot, while Ulster kept their play-off hopes alive after a late Paddy Jackson penalty and a John Andrew try saw them beat Newport 27-17.

14-man Glasgow kept their slim hopes of reaching the play-offs alive with a 35-24 bonus-point victory over Connacht, Ospreys suffered a surprise 13-5 defeat to Treviso and Rhys Patchell scored two tries on his return from injury in Scarlets 26-10 win over Edinburgh.

Scotland’s most capped player and Glasgow wing Sean Lamont has announced that he will retire at the end of the season bringing to an end a 17 year career.

Sebastien Vettel won his first race since the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix
image: rte.ie

Motorsport

Sebastien Vettel made a winning start to the new Formula One season, as the Ferrari driver beat Mercedes Lewis Hamilton to win the Australian Grand Prix, marking the German’s first win since September 2015.

Spain’s Maverick Vinales held off the challenge of Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi for his second MotoGP career win at the opening race of the season in Qatar.

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