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Six Nations
Saturday 03 February 2018, 11:45am EST

France v Ireland

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Key Events

  • Drop GoalJohnny Sexton
  • FT
  • ConversionAnthony Belleau
  • TRY!Teddy Thomas
  • Penalty GoalMaxime Machenaud
  • Penalty GoalJohnny Sexton
  • HT
  • Penalty GoalJohnny Sexton
  • Penalty GoalMaxime Machenaud
  • Penalty GoalJohnny Sexton
  • Penalty GoalJohnny Sexton
  • KO


Match Stats
Player Stats
Defenders beaten
Clean breaks
Turnovers conceded
Turnovers won
Missed tackles
France T C P
15 Geoffrey Palis 0 0 0
14 Teddy Thomas 1 0 0
13 Rémi Lamerat 0 0 0
12 Henry Chavancy 0 0 0
11 Virimi Vakatawa 0 0 0
10 Matthieu Jalibert 0 0 0
9 Maxime Machenaud 0 0 2
1 Jefferson Poirot 0 0 0
2 Guilhem Guirado 0 0 0
3 Rabah Slimani 0 0 0
4 Arthur Iturria 0 0 0
5 Sebastien Vahaamahina 0 0 0
6 Wenceslas Lauret 0 0 0
7 Yacouba Camara 0 0 0
8 Kevin Gourdon 0 0 0
16 Adrien Pélissié 0 0 0
17 Dany Priso 0 0 0
18 Cedate Gomes Sa 0 0 0
19 Paul Gabrillagues 0 0 0
20 Marco Tauleigne 0 0 0
21 Antoine Dupont 0 0 0
22 Anthony Belleau 0 1 0
23 Benjamin Fall 0 0 0
Ireland T C P
15 Rob Kearney 0 0 0
14 Keith Earls 0 0 0
13 Robbie Henshaw 0 0 0
12 Bundee Aki 0 0 0
11 Jacob Stockdale 0 0 0
10 Johnny Sexton 0 0 4
9 Conor Murray 0 0 0
1 Cian Healy 0 0 0
2 Rory Best 0 0 0
3 Tadhg Furlong 0 0 0
4 Iain Henderson 0 0 0
5 James Ryan 0 0 0
6 Peter O'Mahony 0 0 0
7 Josh van der Flier 0 0 0
8 CJ Stander 0 0 0
16 Sean Cronin 0 0 0
17 Jack McGrath 0 0 0
18 John Ryan 0 0 0
19 Devin Toner 0 0 0
20 Dan Leavy 0 0 0
21 Luke McGrath 0 0 0
22 Joey Carbery 0 0 0
23 Fergus McFadden 0 0 0


Six Nations

4 France 66 11
1 Ireland 85 26
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  • France looked to have poached an opening round win when Teddy Thomas went 60m with eight minutes on the clock - but Jonathan Sexton broke their hearts after a mammoth passage of play from his side with the mother of all drop-goals in the 83rd minute. The stand-off scored all 15 points for Ireland today - and with his boot, has gifted them an vital win from the jaws of defeat. What a game to finish off the first day of the NatWest 6 Nations; full-time at the Stade de France, it finishes France 13-15 Ireland.
  • DROP GOAL: France 13-15 Ireland. Sexton wins it for Ireland with a 40m drop goal! Pinned back on the 39th phase, the playmaker chances it - and his effort just squeaks over the crossbar. French players drop to the ground with their heads in their hands; Ireland wheel away in delirious celebration. What a finish to this game - Ireland kick off their campaign with the most dramatic of wins!
  • Ireland are into the 38th phaase now and still going. They're 35m out from the French line - is this where they go for the drop goal?
  • Into overtime and Sexton puts a crossfield kick to Earls, who manages to collect, helping Ireland into the French half. They're still some way from the tryline though - and out of drop-goal range too.
  • The visitors are unable to get out of their half, pinned back by superb French defence as they keep heading down the middle. They're almost out of time at the Stade de France.
  • Now a penalty to France for an infringement at the ruck. Machenaud goes for goal - and pulls it wide to the left from 30m out! Ireland are still in this game - but time is running out.
  • Play is paused as Dupont suffers a nasty knee injury. The Frenchman is helped from the field - and again, the referee is informed that it's a HIA case, meaning that Machenaud can return to the field in his place, to the incredulous response of the Ireland players.
  • Another Ireland change; Stockdale is off and Fergus McFadden is on for the visitors.
  • A mistake from Earls! The Ireland man knocks on Belleau's chip and France get a scrum, 40m out from the opposition tryline.
  • Adrien Pelissie has come on for Guirado as the conversion sails over. France are looking to get back into Ireland territory as fast as they can.
  • Conversion
    CONVERSION: France 13-12 Ireland. Anthony Belleau slots the extras from the right and, for the first time in this match, the hosts have the lead. Ireland look shell-shocked.
  • Try
    TRY: France 11-12 Ireland. What a try for Teddy Thomas! The winger cuts in from the right wing on a 60m run, having collected a short kick over, and outstrips five Irish defenders to touch down on the right of the posts. This game has suddenly exploded into life!
  • John Ryan has come on for Furlong now as the scrum collapses at the first attempt.
  • The referee has gone up to the TMO now to see if there is any merit to a Ireland penalty appeal in midfield after Kearney appeared to be taken out in mid-air knocking the ball forward. No problem is found and France get the scrum.
  • It's a sturdy set in attack from the hosts, but in the end, their set finishes with a whimper after Gabrillagues turns over the ball cheaply to Kearney.
  • Henshaw gets the penalty line-out on halfway and Ireland play a short kick through Sexton; Palis manages to collect under pressure and sparks a breakaway run from Vakatawa down the left wing, before the latter earns a penalty for a high shot from Earls. Devin Toner and Sean Cronin are on in place of Ryan and Best.
  • Great defence from Sexton, as he holds Lamerat and forces France to concede a penalty by entering from the side, 10m out from his own line. Machenaud and Lauret are off for the hosts; Marco Tauleigne and Antoine Dupont are on.
  • It's a neat run down the left wing by Palis from the scrum, and Vakatawa adds some more vital meetings, before Ireland double back to push Piso back on the third phase.
  • Stander collects the drop-out after Earls nearly spills it, but his efforts are for nought; Ireland knock on a moment later and France get the scrum on halfway.
  • Sexton goes for goal again, 35m out on the right - and he pushes it wide at the far post by some distance, for his first miss of the game. The advantage remains the same.
  • Jack McGrath is the latest change for Ireland, replacing Healy, as Ireland earn a penallty for offside close to the French tryline.
  • France eventually come up with the ball in a scrappy scrum but then Stander earns a penalty for an incorrect maul. Paul Gabrillagues is on to replace Arthur Iturria.
  • It's a collapsed scrum after two attempts and referee Nigel Owens addresses both sides with stern words.
  • A mistake from Kearney as he spills a high ball from Machenaud under pressure just inside his own half. Scrum to France.
  • Slimani and Poirot are off for France in the first changes of the second half, and making their debuts off the bench, Cedate Gomes Sa and Dany Priso arrive on the field.
  • Penalty Goal
    PENALTY: France 6-12 Ireland. It's back to a six-point game as Machenaud slots over the ball from the right wing.
  • France earn a penalty now for Furlong failing to release the ball on the next play and Machenaud will go for goal.
  • Furlong comes up with the ball after some end-to-end kicks and a speedy French line-out, but play is briefly halted with Stockdale down injured on the wing for Ireland.
  • Jefferson Poirot saves France from leaking the first try of the game! The prop pulls off a superb steal on Robbie Henshaw on the 15th phase as Ireland fail to find width in their play. He punts it long and the hosts roar downfield in pursuit.
  • Stockdale nearly goes into touch on the left wing but clings grimly on to the Aki pass and stays in the field of play. Ireland are 10m out on the 11th phase, heading down the middle now...
  • Vahaamahina is now penalised for offside in midfield and Ireland make easy metres from the restart again.
  • Penalty Goal
    PENALTY: France 3-12 Ireland. Sexton adds three more points in conditions that are becoming increasingly miserable, as the rain starts tumbling down in earnest.
  • James Ryan collects at the line-out with a fingertip touch and then Henderson earns a penalty for a dangerous tackle 25m out from the posts. Ireland will go for goal again...
  • Penalty to Ireland after Poirot loses the ball in a turnover and then infringes on Henderson in the subsequent play.
  • Great movement from the hosts, getting the ball crossfield in a swift passing move to Vakatawa before Ireland manage to muscle up in defence and arrest France's forward gain.
  • Muuray flicks a pass onto Furlong, only to see it drift forward; France get the scrum on their right edge, just shy of the halfway line.
  • We're back underway at the Stade de France as Sexton puts a low kick to Machenaud; the scrum-half returns by putting it out for an Ireland line-out on halfway.
  • It's a close encounter so far in a game dominated by sturdy defence, but Ireland have the better rub of the green thanks to a series of silly penalties from the hosts. France are not out of this game by a long shot, Maxime Machenaud's effort keeping them in touching distance of the boot of Johnny Sexton - but there is work to be done if they want to find the win. Half-time in Paris, it's France 3-9 Ireland.
  • Palis is played a long ball by Poirot on his own tryline and the full-back drills it out for the half-time whistle.
  • Penalty Goal
    PENALTY: France 3-9 Ireland. Sexton doesn't miss from 25m out in front once more and Ireland restore a six-point lead.
  • Sebastien Vahaamahina plays Murray off the ball and is penalised, with Healy coming in to square up with the former. The Frenchman is lucky not to be given a yellow card there.
  • It looks like that could be Van der Flier's day done and dusted; he is helped by two physios from the pitch as Dan Leavy arrives in his place.
  • Van der Flier takes a nasty knock as he goes to ground under a Guirado tackle - and the Ireland man's knee looks to not be in the best condition as medics attend to him and play is halted.
  • Penalty Goal
    PENALTY: France 3-6 Ireland. It's Machenaud who has the kicking duties for the home side - and bang in front, 25m out, he pops it over to get France off the mark and cut the gap.
  • Jalibert, despite appearing to take a knock to the knee, is having a HIA - head injury assessment - in the French dressing room right now, as Ireland win back-to-back line-outs. Sexton is pinned back though and Guilhem Guirado then steals the ball, before earning a penalty for the hosts for infringement in the tackle.
  • That is a great set on their own line from France and they manage to turn over possession from Best in their back-left corner, before punting downfield to take off the pressure.
  • Sexton, Henderson and Stander all make metres from the scrum restart, peppering the French defence; Les Bleus stand firm though, as O'Mahony drives down the middle on the 9th phase.
  • It looks like it will be a sad ending for Jalibert on his debut cap as he limps off; Anthony Belleau arrives to take his place.
  • Ireland make good metres downfield, but in the first maul, both Jalibert and Aki go to ground in pain after a clash. Play continues for two more phases before the referee halts play.
  • A desperate Healy kick downfield gives France the scrum - but firstly a collapse and then a strike-out gives Ireland the penalty.
  • Ireland win their line-out and play it around midfield through Henderson and Aki, looking to find a way through, before a knock-on on the 10th phase allows Slimani to put an ad-hoc grubber through and force the visitors back to their own tryline.
  • Palis and Kearney exchange several fast, nippy short kicks over midfield before the ball is put out by a wayward hand from Remi Lamerat.
  • Penalty Goal
    PENALTY: France 0-6 Ireland. Sexton goes for goal, directly in front of the sticks, and drills it neatly over to double his side's lead.
  • Ireland push down the right flank through Iain Henderson and get a penalty advantage; Sexton tries for a drop-goal but pulls it wide to the left from a good 25m out.
  • The visitors get the free-kick at the scrum however as France fail to stay straight after packing down. Sexton keeps it in play and Palis almost spills; Yacouba Camara gets it palmed down to him, before his punt is returned by Healy.
  • Stander is now penalised for a steal at the subsequent line-out and France opt for the scrum, 20m out in centre-field from the Ireland tryline.
  • Easy metres now for France as they get another penalty in midfield for Palis being taken out in the air again.
  • It's a poor effort from the hosts; an initial Teddy Thomas break sees the ball spilled into touch for a line-out under pressure and Ireland recover on their own 25m mark, out wide on their right.
  • Murray regathers a high ball put up by Sexton, but Palis is deemed to have been taken out in the air and France get a penalty 30m away from their own line.
  • France are pushed back on their left wing, into their own half by Tadhg Furlong and Rory Best; the hosts get a scrum to help relieve the pressure, only for Gourdon to knock on going for the ball as it releases. Head-and-feed to Ireland.
  • Stander manages to get the ball out of the scrum just before it collapses under French pressure and Josh van der Flier then puts it to halfway where Geoffery Palis takes a running leap to collect.
  • It's a good effort in defence from Ireland, relatively untroubled - and they subsequently force the error from Chavancy as he knocks on trying to get the ball to Vakatawa.
  • France steal a second Irish line-out and push into the opposition half for the first time in earnest, lead by Rabah Slimani and Maxime Machenaud. They gain little distance - but they remain in control in the 13th phase, 25m out.
  • France win the line-out and Jefferson Poirot immediately puts it out on halfway to push the opposition away from his side's line.
  • France win the line-out and Jalibert tries a little chip over the top to chase himself; instead, it comes down straight into the arms of Earls and Sexton then drills a solid kick into the corner to add pressure on the hosts.
  • Conor Murray sticks a neat kick up right from the restart and Rob Kearney is able to palm it back to Keith Earls. He tries to sneak around the edge again, but Virmi Vakatawa and Henry Chavancy force the Ireland man into touch for a line-out.
  • Penalty Goal
    PENALTY: France 0-3 Ireland. Johnny Sexton doesn't miss those, from 25m out in front, and he slots it cleanly over to give Ireland the lead.
  • Quick work from the visitors allows Jacob Stockdale to bust through on the right wing off a Bundee Aki offload, before Ireland earn a penalty in midfield for infringement in the tackle. They're going to go for the three points...
  • We're underway at the Stade de France, as teenager Jalibert kicks us off. France are quick to collect from an early Ireland punt, but then CJ Stander bundles Kevin Gourdon into touch and Ireland get the line-out.
  • Now it's the turn of the French, as La Marseillaise is bellowed back by the crowd crammed inside Paris's biggest stadium.
  • The teams are out for the national anthems at the Stade de France. It's ‘Ireland’s Call’ first, with Ireland in full voice.
  • Rory Best picks up his 107th cap for Ireland today; the hooker is one game away now from equalling Paul O’Connell as Ireland’s joint-third most capped player and most capped forward of all time.
  • Despite playing just 190 minutes of Test rugby in 2017, Antoine Dupont beat more defenders than any other Tier One scrum half, with 21 last year. In fact, his rate of one defender beaten every nine minutes was the best rate of any Tier One player who had played in excess of 80 minutes across the world.
  • Ireland will be looking to banish a bad run of form on the road too; across the previous two campaigns, they have lost four away from Dublin and won only once, a 63-10 drubbing of Italy in Rome last year.
  • Recent history indicates that this could be a close one today; seven of France’s last eight home games at the Championship have been decided by seven points or fewer, Les Bleus claiming victory in five of them.
  • Substitutes: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, John Ryan, Devin Toner, Dan Leavy, Luke McGrath, Joey Carbery, Fergus McFadden
  • Ireland XV: Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best (c), Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, James Ryan, Peter O'Mahony, Josh van der Flier, CJ Stander
  • Substitutes: Adrien Pelissie, Dany Priso, Cedate Gomes Sa, Paul Gabrillagues, Marco Tauleigne, Antoine Dupont, Anthony Belleau, Benjamin Fall
  • France XV: Geoffrey Palis, Teddy Thomas, Remi Lamerat, Henry Chavancy, Virimi Vakatawa, Matthieu Jalibert, Maxime Machenaud; Jefferson Poirot, Guilhem Guirado (c), Rabah Slimani, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Arthur Iturria, Wenceslas Lauret, Yacouba Camara, Kevin Gourdon
  • Two starting debuts for France today, with Matthieu Jalibert and Geoffrey Palis both earning their caps, while Adrien Pelissie, Dany Priso, Cedate Gomes Sa and Marco Tauleigne could play their maiden Test from the bench too. As for Ireland, they too have three newcomers among an experienced line-up; Bundee Aki, James Ryan and Jacob Stockdale all pull on the jersey at the highest level for the first time too.
  • Jacques Brunel meanwhile takes charge of France for the first time, having previously overseen Italy in prior campaigns between 2012 and 2016. While suffering a whopping 21 losses, he did record four wins, including a 2013 victory over Ireland – though on his four previous match-ups against Schmidt as coach, he has lost all four, including a 2015 Rugby World Cup match.
  • Joe Schmidt’s men have lost just four of 18 opening day games since 2000, including a defeat to France in 2004; they are otherwise unbeaten across the first weekend this century. They also come into this game having scored 999 points against Les Bleus across the history of the Championship – and are only two wins away from their 300th Test victory ever.
  • Hello and welcome, from around the world, to the opening round of the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations, as France host Ireland at the Stade de France in Paris. The visitors have only triumphed twice against their hosts in their own backyard, in 2000 and 2014; but as one of the favourites to take the trophy this year, can they get their campaign underway with a third such win on continental turf?

Live Match Centre – France v Ireland