France secured their first Six Nations victory in Dublin since 2011 with a ruthless show on the Aviva Stadium.
Andy Farrell’s facet dominated possession and territory for big durations of this hard-fought contest, however the guests had the category and medical edge with it mattered, scoring sensible tries by way of Charles Ollivon and Damien Penaud.
Eire misplaced the providers of Peter O’Mahony, James Ryan, Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton in the course of the week and the lack of management was telling at essential moments in a frenzied encounter.
France saved their Six Nations title goals alive with a 13-15 victory over Eire in Dublin
Eire’s bench – together with Ronan Kelleher who scored a superb solo attempt – made telling contributions, however this second defeat leaves Eire staring down the barrel for the remainder of the championship. It’s the first time since 1998 that Eire have misplaced two championship video games on the bounce.
Eire’s plan from the outset was clear: go to the air and pressurise the guests with their kick chase. That tactic was producing combined outcomes. At the very least their set piece was motoring properly. They pinched two lineouts as effectively – additional indicators of Paul O’Connell’s affect – and managed to string nearly a dozen phases collectively in a single promising early assault, just for Rob Herring to fumble a Billy Burns go when France seemed stretched.
Matthieu Jalibert despatched an early penalty vast after the French pack had plundered a well-executed Irish lineout. You might sense the nerves from each side.
Eire have been doing loads proper however, crucially, the French defence – below the watchful eye of Shaun Edwards – have been absorbing every little thing that was being thrown at them. CJ Stander was stripped by Gael Fickou throughout one cost whereas Brice Dulin was hoovering up a flurry of aerial bombs. If the pre-match plan was go after the France full-back, it wasn’t reaping a lot dividends.
All eyes have been on Burns after his late howler in Cardiff final weekend. The Ulster No10 seemed jittery throughout his second-half cameo in opposition to Wales, however he had a strong opening 20 minutes on the Aviva, various his recreation effectively with good kicking and passing.
France ahead Charles Ollivon scored the sport’s first attempt throughout Bernard Le Roux’s sin bin
When Mohamed Haouas went off his toes on the breakdown, referee Luke Pearce reached for his whistle. However Burns would despatched the 18th-minute effort vast. He is the not the common goal-kicker along with his province and it confirmed with that routine miss.
Fortunately, he quickly acquired an opportunity to atone when Gregory Alldritt was penalised for not rolling away. Burns made no mistake this time, nudging Eire right into a 3-0 lead.
Bernard le Roux and Paul Willemse – France’s heavyweight pair of locks – are effectively versed at the hours of darkness arts. France needed to make a whole lot of tackles within the opening quarter and people two behemoths have been central to the rearguard effort, shelling out loads of punishment.
Le Roux likes to play on the sting however the Racing 92 ahead went too far when his sly journey on Keith Earls because the pair chased one other excessive kick was picked up by the contact choose. Ten minutes within the sin-bin. No argument there.
Eire took benefit of the additional man instantly. From a surging lineout maul, Burns launchd a sweeping assault, placing Hugo Keenan into acres of house. The Eire full-back then fed James Lowe who barrelled by way of the deal with of Dulin for what seemed just like the opening attempt, just for the Kiwi wing’s foot to scrape the touchline. An enormous let-off for the French there. It could have been a giant second for an Eire group missing their leaders and confidence.
Hooker Ronan Kelleher made an instantaneous impression off the bench with a well-worked attempt
After 28 minutes of laborious toil, all that they had was three factors to point out for his or her efforts.
Then France – starved of possession and territory – confirmed their class. Antoine Dupont and Jalibert punched holes within the Irish defence with a flurry of offloads with the marauding Toulouse hooker Julien Marchand making huge inroads. When Dupont’s looping go went to floor, it seemed like this sweeping assault would die a loss of life. Irrespective of, Fickou scooped up the ball, stood up Jamison Gibson-Park, who made a poor defensive learn, earlier than sending the skipper Ollivon away for a elegant rating. French aptitude at its perfect.
Jalibert’s conversion made it 7-3 for the 14-man guests and Eire have been left shocked.
You might sense a momentum shift after that. At sone stage, Rhys Ruddock, who was having a giant day on his first Six Nations at age 30, acquired right into a skirmish with this big French pack. The Leinster flanker was left to fend for himself. Not an excellent signal.
And France have been starting to make their presence felt, particularly Alldritt who was starting to make dents within the Irish defence. When Cian Healy was caught on the flawed facet of the ruck, Pearce reached for his whistle once more and Jalibert fired the following penalty although the posts.
Eire wanted a giant begin on the resumption, nevertheless it was France who made an early assertion. Alarm bells have been despatched ringing within the Irish defence when Marchand burst by way of the tried tackles of Herring and Josh van der Flier. France may have walked on type then just for Willemse to knock on.
Eire then suffered a triple harm blow when Burns, Healy and Iain Henderson all left the sphere inside a couple of minutes for operating repairs. On got here Ross Byrne, Ed Byrne and Ultan Dillane to plug the holes.
And the Irish defence was beginning to leak now as Dupont and Co started to seek out their rhythm. Eire have been trying more and more ragged and France’s second attempt arrived courtesy of extra brilliance from Jalibert whose skip go put Dulin and the La Rochelle man offload to the onrushing Penaud, who utilized the killer end within the nook.
Eire wing James Lowe arms off the oncoming Damien Penaud in defence on the Aviva
Farrell despatched on Tadhg Furlong and Ronan Kelleher to offer some impression and the latter made his presence felt in a giant method. The Leinster hooker racing onto a free ball from a sloppy lineout and bursting 20 metres down the touchline for a sensational rating. Byrne, on as a everlasting substitute for Burns now, fried over the touchline conversion and Eire have been again within the hunt, chopping the French result in 5 factors.
The momentum was now with Eire, with Byrne, Furlong and Kelleher offering recent impetus from the bench. When Byrne boomed over a long-range penalty to make it 15-13, it felt like anybody’s recreation heading into the ultimate quarter-hour.
There was mo drama when a Jalibert penalty bounced off the publish within the Seventieth-minute. Eire lifting the siege momentarily earlier than Dupont triggered pandemonium with a saying break down the left touchline thanks to a different sensible offload from Marchand. Eire have been below the cosh however some sensible defence from substitute Will Connors and Henderson, placing in an enormous show at captain, saved the French at bay.
They should get upfield for an opportunity of snatching an unlikely win, nonetheless. Eire would launch one closing raid however, after 17 exhaustive phases, France held on for a landmark win on Irish soil.
IRELAND: H Keenan; Okay Earls (J Larmour 67), G Ringrose, R Henshaw, J Lowe; B Burns (R Byrne 42), J Gibson-Park; C Healy (E Byrne 42-56, 69), R Herring (R Kelleher 55), A Porter (T Furlong 52); T Beirne (Dillane 72), I Henderson (capt) (U Dillane 42-58); R Ruddock, J van der Flier (W Connors 65), CJ Stander
Reps not used: C Casey.
SCORERS – Tries: Kelleher con: R Byrne pens: Byrne, Burns
FRANCE: B Dulin; D Penaud (T Thomas 66), A Vincent, G Fickou, G Villiere; M Jalibert, A Dupont; C Baille (H Kolinger 75), J Marchand (P Bourgarit 75), M Haouas (U Atonio 56); B le Roux, P Willemse (R Taoffienua 70); A Jelonch (D Cretin 66), C Ollivon (capt), G Alldritt
Reps not used: B Serin, A Bouthier.
SCORERS – Tries: Ollivon, Penaud con: Jalibert pen: Jalibert
Referee: L Pearce (England)