Sunday, October 11, 2015


Ireland claimed a heroic victory against France at the Rugby World Cup, meaning they will face the emerging Argentina in the quarter-finals next Sunday, avoiding the mighty All Blacks.
Rob Kearney scores v France

However the victory came at a price for Joe Schmidt’s side with Johnny Sexton suffering a groin injury while Paul O’Connell and Peter O’Mahony left the pitch on stretchers and man of the match Sean O’Brien could face a possible citing.
It was a war of attrition in Cardiff but were able to match France at the breakdown and limited Les Bleus to just three penalties.
The Irish bench made a huge impact with Iain Henderson, Chris Henry and Ian Madigan making big contributions.
Ireland edged and tight first half before scoring two tries after the break when the game became more fragmented.
Ireland made a bright start working the ball through 10 phases but conceded a penalty for coming in at the side of a ruck.
France had the first chance to open the scoring when Ireland were guilty of playing the ball on the ground after five minutes but out half Freddie Michalak sliced his penalty wide.
Ireland had another lucky escape when full back Scott Spedding struck the upright with a penalty after Ireland had collapsed a scrum.
Ireland despite being under pressure for the opening period took the lead on 12 minutes with a Johnny Sexton penalty.
Spedding levelled the game with a penalty on 16 minutes after Sean O’Brien was penalised for holding on the ground.
Sexton restored Ireland’s lead two minutes later with his second penalty as Pascal Pape was caught offside at the bottom of a ruck.
The sides were level again after 22 minutes as Spedding landed a long range penalty.
Ireland lost Sexton to a rib injury on 25 minutes but his replacement Ian Madigan kicked a penalty a minute after coming on.
Sean O'Brien v France

Ireland wasted their first try scoring opportunity, Tommy Bowe picked a great line and cut open the French defence he passed to Keith and with an open try line the Munster centre dropped the ball.
Ireland led 9-6 at half time but lost captain O’Connell to a hamstring injury just before the interval.
Full back Rob Kearney got the game’s opening try on 50 minutes.
From an attacking scrum Bowe went close, Peter O’Mahony and Jamie Heaslip had drives close to the line before the ball was spun wide for Kearney to squeeze over but Madigan failed to convert.
Morgan Para kept France in touch with a penalty on 64 minutes.
Scrum half Conor Murray got Ireland’s second try on 72 minutes.
From a lineout the forwards carried the ball through 12 phases, Iain Henderson drove close to the line, Chris Henry carried it on before Rory Best launched himself at the line but was held up short, Muraay lifted the ball from the bottom of the ruck and touched the bottom of the post to score and Madigan’s conversion put Ireland 13 points in front.
Madigan sealed the victory with a penalty four minutes from the end.

A magnificent performance by Ireland.

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