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Dublin: 14°C Friday 23 April 2021
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'We had to work for everything': Ringrose delighted to come away with French win

The young centre played a vital role for Ireland on a tough night at the Aviva.

Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

GARRY RINGROSE WAS given a ‘kick up the bum’ at half-time to preview the tough review sessions ahead. But he is more than happy to come away with a win over France to keep Ireland’s Six Nations hopes alive.

On his sixth cap in green, Ringrose delivered another strong performance in tonight’s 19 – 9 win over Les Bleus. His work with ball in hand was particularly impressive, with only CJ Stander beating his 17 carries. However, he is also conscious that he slipped off tackles when the visitors were in the ascendancy early on at the Aviva.

“We were lucky in one or two instances that we didn’t concede a try. We can’t look beyond that. There were a few errors, some missed tackles from myself that I’ll look back on and try to get better,” said Ringrose.

“We had to work for every point we got. We can’t get too critical. To beat a really good French side at home, we’re over the moon now that we’re still alive in the competition. A lot we could find in the review, but we can’t discount how strong a team they are.”

France put all that strength on display in the opening 20 minutes, dominating the game and making inroads in Ireland’s defence before a beautifully-worked try was ruled out for a handling error from Gael Fickou. It might have been 10 – 0, but instead Ireland returned to halfway with the deficit just six. From there, they never looked back.

They came out all guns blazing, really put us under pressure and we did well to escape, arguably, just the six points down.

“We knew we had to stick with the process. It was tough conditions, it might not have looked it, but the ball was very slippery. It was evident for both sides. We knew we had to work hard for everything and go from there.”

“They were very good defensively and well-drilled. Before half-time, when we came away (from an attack in the 22) with nothing, we got a kick up the bum in the changing room.

Gaël Fickou and Garry Ringrose Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“Having said that, we knew we just had to get into the right areas, the right positions of the pitch and hopefully the points were coming. In the second half they came in the form of three points.

“There’s definitely stuff to review and see what we can do better, but they were very strong.”

It wasn’t pretty, but top spot – temporarily – belongs to Ireland. The ball is back in England’s court.

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Sean Farrell

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