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Andy Farrell’s reaction to Ireland's record rout of France

By PA
Ireland score against France at the Stade Vélodrome- PA

Andy Farrell hailed Ireland’s ruthlessness and composure after their Guinness Six Nations title defence was launched with a record-breaking five-try demolition of 14-man France.

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The reigning Grand Slam champions propelled themselves into pole position for further championship glory by dismantling the ragged pre-tournament favourites 38-17 in Marseille.

Ireland’s bonus-point success, secured by tries from Jamison Gibson-Park, Tadhg Beirne, Calvin Nash, Dan Sheehan and Ronan Kelleher, plus 13 points from Jack Crowley, was their largest winning margin away to France.

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Les Bleus’ quest for victory at a largely subdued Stade Velodrome was damaged by the 32nd-minute dismissal of lock Paul Willemse.

“We’d take any type of win here in Marseille to kick off the Six Nations but the more the game was going on, the more you saw a performance building,” said head coach Farrell.

“I thought we got exactly what we deserved in the end.

Fixture
Six Nations
France
17 - 38
Full-time
Ireland
All Stats and Data

“Our composure, it wasn’t all singing all dancing and the French side was always going to pose questions and the crowd was always going to get behind them.

“But we managed to silence them quite a lot through good composure.

“The main thing for me would be our ability to stay on it for the full 80 minutes and keep attacking the game.

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“When you’re playing against 14 men for a long period, sometimes subconsciously you tend to shut up shop a little bit more.

“I thought our intent was pretty good and we were pretty ruthless when we needed to be, then obviously on top of that I thought our line-out in attack and defence was outstanding.”

Both sides came into a mouth-watering tournament curtain-raiser on the back of agonising World Cup quarter-finals exits.

Ireland began in the ascendancy but received a helping hand from the indiscipline of Willemse, who was sent off in the 32nd minute following a high hit on Caelan Doris having previously been sin-binned for a similar challenge on Andrew Porter.

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Scores either side of half-time from Damian Penaud and Paul Gabrillagues and seven points from the boot of Thomas Ramos gave the hosts hope but Farrell’s men were a class above.

New Ireland captain Peter O’Mahony, who spent a spell in the sin bin in the aftermath of Gabrillagues’ try for bringing down the maul, said: “I don’t think it gets any better really.

“With the stress of the last couple of days I’d have given the whole lot up for a win tonight.

“Away from home, first game up, Friday night, Marseille, the Velodrome, I’d have been a happy man packing the whole lot in tomorrow morning if you’d given me the chance to take a win.

“It’s the biggest margin that we’ve beaten France by.

“I remember as a young fella watching Irish teams and you’d be hoping that they’d hang on in there, whereas it’s a different animal now.”

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Comments

1 Comment
S
Steve 136 days ago

What a wonderful game to watch. Ireland were immense, Crowley settled in nicely at 10 the longer the game went on.

Don't write France off yet, they'll be back and will still be hard to beat this year.

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