Ireland (9) 9
PEN: Sexton (3).
Ireland are still without a win in this years Six Nations Championship after going down 10 – 9 in a dull match against France at Stade de France on Saturday afternoon.
There was an inevitability about the 71st minute try by Maxime Médard with the French forwards taking control in the second half after trailing 3 – 9 at the break.
Ireland had their chances, in a low quality first half, with Robbie Henshaw and CJ Sander knocking on close to the line, but by then the French had already set the tone with an abrasive defence and a few off the ball niggles.
Sexton, despite some close attention from the French pack, did manage to convert three penalties to Plisson’s one in the boring, boring first half – I honestly did fall asleep at about 35 mins so enthralling was this encounter! 🙂
I woke early in the second half and so it appears did France who were pushing the Irish scrum all over the place. Nothing particularly flashy from the French but Ireland were so well worked over that they couldn’t even rouse themselves for a response following Médard’s 71st minute score.
Joe Schmidt has a few questions to answer after this performance. To me Sexton has been carrying an injury the last two games and so, obviously, was O’Brien, for this one.
Schmidt’s decisions to take risks with these players was bad enough but the sight of McFadden clip clopping on, for the equally limited Dave Kearney, was what pushed me over the edge and into the welcoming arms of an afternoon nap!
As I said at the start, Ireland have yet to win this series, and I have yet to stay awake for the full duration of one of their matches!
Please get your act together Joe and get Ireland playing like that majestic Leinster side of four years ago. Note this doesn’t mean that you can only select Leinster players!
Ireland: Rob Kearney, Andrew Trimble, Jared Payne, Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney, Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray, Jack McGrath, Rory Best, Nathan White, Devin Toner, Mike McCarthy, CJ Stander, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip. Replacements: Richard Strauss, James Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Donnacha Ryan, Tommy O’Donnell, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Fergus McFadden.