France 30-24 Ireland: Les Bleus hold their nerve to clinch victory in Paris

By Sports Desk February 12, 2022

Ireland's comeback efforts proved fruitless as France held their own to claim a 30-24 win in an enthralling Six Nations tussle on Saturday.

Heading to the Stade de France without injured captain Jonny Sexton, Ireland endured a tough start – including Antoine Dupont scoring the fastest try they have conceded in the Six Nations – and Melvyn Jaminet's kicking kept them at arm's length in the first half.

Josh van der Flier and Jamison Gibson-Park led an Ireland rally early in the second, but Cyril Baille's try saw France regain their composure.

Although that might have been followed by another score in a frantic finish, when TMO intervened, Les Bleus did just enough to hold on to their lead.

Ireland had been swiftly into the lead against Wales last time out but were on the wrong end of a fast start in Paris, as Dupont latched onto an offload with just over a minute played.

Jaminet added the extras and then another three French points from the tee soon after, but Ireland hit back when Sexton's replacement Joey Carbery hung the restart kick up for Mack Hansen to pounce and go over.

Another Jaminet penalty nosed France into a six-point lead, before two more pieces of Dupont brilliance resulted in two more successfully converted kicks before half-time.

Jaminet's penalty proficiency continued with a long-range effort early in the second half, yet the momentum quickly swung Ireland's way when Van der Flier forced his way over in the corner following a successful line-out.

The gap was down to a point by the 49th minute, Gibson-Park grounding underneath the sticks, but Ireland were their own worst enemies four minutes later – an error in the ruck allowing France to capitalise through Baille.

Although Ireland were handed more hope when Carbery chipped through a 30-yard penalty, France pushed back and Jaminet sent a penalty through the sticks to seal victory having failed to ground what seemed set to be a decisive try.

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