Black and Bleu! The first half in Paris was an absolute war

Referee Jaco Peyper is making no friends in Ireland this afternoon.

IRELAND’S INJURY COUNT is piling up after a ferocious first half in the Stade de France.

Joe Schmidt’s side lost both Sean O’Brien and Dave Kearney to injury in the opening 40 minutes against France, while referee Jaco Peyper has been criticised for not showing at least one yellow card.

France set the tone early on with this cheap shot from Yoann Maestri on Johnny Sexton which happened right in front of Peyper, yet only resulted in a penalty to Ireland.

Jonathan Sexton down injured with Dr. Eanna Falvey Billy Stickland / INPHO Irish team doctor Jim McShane treats Sexton. Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

Jonathan Sexton injured Billy Stickland / INPHO The Irish out-half dusts himself down. Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

Sexton was fit to continue following brief medical treatment, but it wasn’t long before the Irish medics were back in action.

Sean O’Brien jarred his knee while trying to sidestep a tackle and he hobbled off in the 20th minute to be replaced by Tommy O’Donnell.

RBS 6 Nations / YouTube

Sean O'Brien goes off injured with Dr. Eanna Falvey Dan Sheridan / INPHO O'Brien is helped off Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

There was more controversy in the 28th minute when Dave Kearney was cleared out by this high, thunderous hit from Guilhem Guirado — which again did not result in either a TMO referral or a yellow card from Peyper.

Kearney was in visible distress as he clutched his left shoulder and was replaced by Fergus McFadden.

Dave Kearney down injured Dan Sheridan / INPHO Kearney's left shoulder left him in some distress... Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Dave Kearney goes off injured Dan Sheridan / INPHO ... and he also needed to be replaced. Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

There was a worrying moment when scrum-half Conor Murray shipped a heavy knock and appeared a little bit unsteady on his feet before continuing, while Mike McCarthy left the pitch with blood streaming from a cut over his right eye before returning for the second half.

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 Ireland fear as Sean O’Brien lasts less than 20 minutes against France

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