Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
France centre Mathieu Bastareaud runs through the Ireland defence.
France centre Mathieu Bastareaud runs through the Ireland defence.

France run away with victory over error-ridden Irish

France demonstrated exactly why they were made favourites to win this year's Six Nations by battering champions Ireland 33-10.

France demonstrated exactly why they were made favourites to win this year's Six Nations by battering champions Ireland 33-10 in freezing Paris conditions. Declan Kidney's side, unbeaten since November 2008 before yesterday, looked out of sorts and had no answer to the French half-back orchestrators of Francois Trinh-Duc and Morgan Parra. Ireland went into yesterday's match knowing that victory would lift them up to third place in the world rankings, displacing Australia. France, who enjoyed an 18-9 opening win over Scotland, started brightly and took the lead with a Parra penalty on 18 minutes after prop Cian Healy was sin binned for obstructing scrum-half Trinh-Duc.

The Irish were punished for pulling down a maul and their seven-man scrum creaked under intense pressure with the referee twice penalising the front row for collapsing. The crowd's plea for a penalty try went unheeded but the pressure paid off when hooker William Servat was driven over by the posts for the game's first try after 27 minutes. Parra's conversion made it 10-0 and, although Ronan O'Gara pulled three points back with a 30th-minute penalty, not even the return from the sin bin of Healy could prevent the dominant French from extending their lead, centre Yannick Jauzion going through a gap in Ireland's defence for a second try.

Parra kicked his third goal and Ireland's woes worsened six minutes before the break when Rob Kearney went off with a leg injury. The harder Ireland tried, the worse it got and there was only a matter of time before France extended their lead, 17-stone Mathieu Bastareaud fending off Brian O'Driscoll to send full-back Clement Poitrenaud over for a third try on 58 minutes and Parra maintained his accuracy to kick a fourth goal and make it 24-3.

Parra piled on the agony with a long-range drop goal but Ireland at last gave their supporters something to cheer when O'Driscoll took a return pass from Stephen Ferris and sent David Wallace over for a 64th-minute try. "As a whole we played quite poorly today," O'Driscoll told the BBC. "We lost our shape at times, maybe we panicked a bit and we didn't take the right options when we got into their territory. Momentum is swung on small little things and it didn't go our way."

O'Gara added the conversion but any hopes of a Welsh-like comeback were quickly extinguished. Parra lost his 100 per cent record when striking an upright with a penalty but made amends with an even more ambitious kick from near halfway and replacement Frederic Michalak wrapped up the scoring with a drop goal. Vincent Clerc, the France winger, said: "It was a great performance, we put up great defence against a great Irish team. We are surprised [at the margin of victory] but we believe in ourselves and we played the perfect match today."

* With agencies

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Glenn Maxwell's knock that followed ensured Brendon McCullum's knock went in vain after his explosive half-century took Chennai Super Kings past the 200-mark. Ravindranath K / The National

All is well with Punjab as Maxwell and Miller seal win against Chennai

The Australian missed out on a century but his 95 runs, along with Miller's unbeaten half-century, ensured Kings XI scaled a mighty peak of a target in a hot first game of Abu Dhabi's double-header.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet protests during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northeast England, on March 15, 2014. Ian MacNicol / AFP

Sunderland going out of Premier League with a grumble

Northeast club have underwhelmed during seven-year stay in the top flight

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 At 105 kg, Gabrielle Garcia has dominated the world circuit and loves many things about being in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Garcia seeks fresh challenge in MMA after her jiu-jitsu domination

Brazilian prides being a lioness in the sport but feels she can shed 25kg weight to pursue her MMA debut aspirations.

 England's Jonathan Trott hits out during the ICC Champions Trophy semi final match against South Africa at The Oval cricket ground, London June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

England’s Jonathan Trott sidelined with stress-related illness again

Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from professional cricket because of his stress-related illness as England and Wales Cricket Board and Warwickshire confirmed he will stop playing with immediate effect.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National