Ireland Women suffered their third defeat in this season’s championship going down 17 – 47 to France in front of a record crowd at Donnybrook on Saturday evening.
Ireland (12) 17
TRY: Ciara Griffin, Claire Molloy, Sene Naoupu
CON: Nicole Fowley
France (28) 47
TRY: Carolie Thomas, Ian Jason, Lise Arricastre, Caroline Boujard, Romane Menager, Audrey Forlani, Marine Menager
CON: Jessy Tremouliere (6)
Ireland produced a good first 30 minutes with Ciara Griffin and Claire Molloy both crossing to match tries from .
France held a 2 point lead at this point, by virtue of two Jessy Tremouliere conversions to one from Nicole Fowley, but with the Irish scrum and lineout misfiring it was only a matter of time before France cut loose. Two late first half tries, from Lise Arricastre and Caroline Boujard, took the edge off the game with France leading 12 – 28 at the break.
The Irish team did work hard throughout, 100% effort is a given with this group of players. The aforementioned Griffin and Molloy put in hugely impressive streetwise performances, but they were rear guard actions as France, despite missing some big players up front, dominated nearly every aspect of the game in the second half.
Romane Menager added France’s fifth try, converted by Tremouliere, six minutes into the second half to push the score out to 12 – 35 but, in a mixed night for the athletic backrow player, she found herself red carded on the hour mark after her elbow connected with Giffin’s chin.
Ireland responded with their third try off the game. It was sparked by, youngster, Beibhinn Parsons and finished off by Sene Naoupu to take the score to 17 – 35 but it was more an act of defiance by the Irish players rather than any swing in fortunes.
Ireland’s vulnerability at the set pieces continued to give France a comparatively easy ride and, when the basics also began to go at the breakdown, the French took full advantage; Audrey Forlani strolling through on two occasions. The first ended with the second row trotting unopposed to the line and the second occasion saw, French replacement, Marine Menager match her twin sister Romane, with a try out wide.
Tremouliere converted the first to make it six from six for the majestic fullback but she showed all her experience as she handed over the more difficult shot to Pauline Bourdon, with the young outhalf struggling to make the distance from the touchline.
Looking to the future, there were sound performances from the Six Nations debutants Enya Breen and Parsons, both teeenagers doing well with their limited opportunities.
Ireland Women: Lauren Delany, Eimear Considine, Enya Breen, Sene Naoupu, Alison Miller, Nicole Fowley, Kathryn Dane, Laura Feely, Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird, Fiona Reidy, Aoife McDermott, Nichola Fryday, Ciara Griffin, Claire Molloy, Claire McLaughlin. Replacements: Emma Hooban, Lindsay Peat, Linda Djougang, Anna Caplice, Claire Boles, Nicole Cronin, Ellen Murphy, Beibhinn Parsons.
France Women: Jessy Trémoulière, Caroline Boujard, Yolaine Yengo, Gabrielle Vernier, Ian Jason, Pauline Bourdon, Yanna Rivoalen, Lise Arricastre, Caroline Thomas, Clara Joyeux, Celine Ferer, Audrey Forlani, Gaelle Hermet, Coumba Diallo, Romane Ménager. Replacements: Laure Touye, Mailys Traore, Chloe Pelle, Laetita Bobo, Fiona Lecat, Emma Coudert, Camille Imart, Marine Ménager.