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Unstoppable France put eight tries past Ireland to book Six Nations decider date with England

Adam Griggs’ side hosted proceedings in Donnybrook this afternoon.

France out-half Caroline Drouin in action against Ireland.
France out-half Caroline Drouin in action against Ireland.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Ireland 15

France 56

A CLINICAL AND efficient France side came to Donnybrook and showed every inch of their semi-professional class to put eight tries past Ireland.

It was a compelling display which sees them progress to a Six Nations decider against England next weekend. For Ireland, they will face either Scotland or Italy in a battle for third place after throwing everything they had at the visitors.

They managed two tries through Cliodhna Moloney and Emma Hooban, while the French wingers Caroline Boujard and Cyrielle Banet helped themselves to a brace of tries apiece.

The opening 10 minutes belonged to Ireland.

Hannah Tyrrell kicked a penalty from in front of the posts to give the hosts an early lead.

There was another promising moment when Tyrrell failed to find touch but Ireland still retained possession after harassing Boujard to earn a lineout with Ireland captain Ciara Griffin filling the bowls of Energia Park with an encouraging roar.

But from there, France took over. Their power and precision was just too much for Ireland to compete with.

By half-time, they had five tries on the board, one of which was a penalty try which resulted in Ireland’s Aoife McDermott being sent to the sin-bin for collapsing a maul.

Boujard was the first to cross over for the visitors after 13 minutes, completing an impressive move where the French stretched Ireland with some crisp passing with the French winger powering over at the corner.

Emilie Boulard was next up to pick up a French try as an Ireland attack broke down, allowing the full-back to chase down her own kick and touch down before the 20-minute mark.

The penalty try arrived moments later after an excellent set-piece from the French which put them 21-3 in front.

Ireland, now down to 14 players after McDermott’s sin-bin dismissal, revived on 23 minutes as Eimear Considine broke through the French cover resulting in a penalty in an inviting position.

romane-menager-celebrates-after-scoring-a-try-with-safi-ndiaye-and-caroline-drouin Romane Menager celebrates her try for Ireland. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Tyrrell kicked for touch and well-executed lineout maul ended in Cliodhna Moloney going over for much-needed try to take the edge off the deficit.

But France didn’t hesitate with their response, running in two more tries through the out-half Caroline Drouin and Cyrielle Banet to put them 38-8 in front at the break.

France continued with their relentlessness after the restart. Boujard, who was excellent throughout, engineered her second try of the game. After gathering the ball out wide, she accelerated through the Irish cover to bring her side to the 5-metre line.

Some patient build-up play brought possession back into her hands and she raced in at the corner to extend her side’s lead.

Substitute Romane Menager added a seventh try with a super finish after swerving inside to touch down at the corner.

Ireland emptied the bench, with Sevens star Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe coming on to make her debut. However, she was sin-binned on 65 minutes for a high tackle on Boujard.

Ireland’s subs combined well for a cohesive move just before the hour-mark, with Beibhinn Parsons also contributing to gain yards and bring them to the try-line. But a knock-on at a crucial moment ended the attack for Ireland.

Banet secured an eighth try for France — and her second of the day– in the 71st minute with a blistering burst of pace along the way.

But Ireland went down fighting, a well-worked lineout maul resulting in Ireland’s second try. Substitute Emma Hooban dotted down before Stacey Flood added the conversion with a lovely shot off the left boot from a difficult angle.

It’s defeat for Adam Griggs’ side. They will face either Scotland or Italy on finals day next weekend.

Ireland scorers 

Tries: Cliodhna Moloney, Emma Hooban, 

Conversions: Hannah Tyrrell  [0 from 1], Stacey Flood [1 from 1]

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Penalties: Hannah Tyrrell [1 from 1]

France scorers:

Tries: Caroline Boujard [2], Emilie Boulard, Safi N’Diaye, Cyrielle Banet [2], Romane Menager

Conversions: Caroline Drouin [4 from 7]

Penalties: Caroline Drouin [2 from 2]

IRELAND: Eimear Considine; Lauren Delany [Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe '48], Eve Higgins, Sene Naoupu, Beibhinn Parsons; Hannah Tyrrell [Stacey Flood '52], Kathryn Dane [Emily Lane '52]; Lindsay Peat [Emma Hooban '58], Cliodhna Moloney [Katie O’Dwyer '58], Linda Djougang [Laura Feely '58]; Aoife McDermott [Brittany Hogan '48], Nichola Fryday; Dorothy Wall, Claire Molloy [Hannah O’Connor '52], Ciara Griffin.

Replacements: 

FRANCE: Emilie Boulard; Caroline Boujard [Morgane Peyronnet '68], Carla Neisen [Gabrielle Vernier '62], Jade Ulutule, Cyrielle Banet; Caroline Drouin, Laure Sansus [Pauline Bourdon '55]; Annaelle Deshaye [Mailys Dhia Traore '62], Agathe Sochat [Laure Touye '68], Rose Bernadou [Clara Joyeux '48] Madoussou Fall, Safi N’Diaye; Marjorie Mayans, Gaelle Hermet [Coumba Diallo '55], Emeline Gros [Romane Menager '48].

Replacements: 

Referee: 

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 9.04.07 AM

About the author:

Sinead Farrell  / Reports from Energia Park, Donnybrook

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