French power game leaves Ireland well beaten in Toulouse

French dominate scrum and lineout in bonus-point victory

France 40 Ireland 5

Four first-half tries and a bonus point by half-time put France firmly in the driving seat against Ireland in Toulouse in the second of their Six Nations Championship matches.

As the French dominated the lineouts and scrums as well as territory by a 70 per cent to 30 per cent margin in the first 40 minutes, France went in at halftime 26-0 up and well on their way to dominating the match.

The first French try arrived just after Eve Higgins had raced in for an Irish touchdown. But when referee Aimee Barrett-Theron called in the TMO, replays showed Dorothy Wall had held back a French player and the score was disallowed.


That triggered a fast French response and on 11 minutes winger Melissandre Llorens ran in the first for France, which came from a hugely dominant French scrum. Caroline Drouin kicked the conversion before France were in again on 23 minutes when scrumhalf Laure Sansus peeled off on the blind side of another powerful scrum to score in the corner.

A rolling maul from a French lineout on 31 minutes allowed Audrey Forlani just about get the ball on the ground for 21-0 with Ciara Joyeux muscling over for the bonus-point fourth and 26-0 just before half-time.

Ireland went in with a lot to fix, a scrum in desperate trouble and five first half lineout errors.

But the French started where they had left off and within minutes the Irish scrum was again retreating inside their 22. Sansus was again alert to the opening and peeled away for a second time to touch down France’s fifth try and Drouin converting for 33-0.

Ireland gamely tried to run the ball but the power deficit was evident, although their best phase arrived on 56 minutes when Higgins stepped and broke the French cover for 33-5 and the visitors only score.

It was the French fullback Emille Boulard who took her team’s tally to six tries on 67 minutes, the conversion making it a round 40-5 and Ireland departing the South of France with a great deal to consider before meeting Italy at home in their third match next week.

SCORING SEQUENCE – 3 mins: C Drouin pen 3-0; 11: M Llorens try 8-0; 16: Drouin pen 11-0; 23: L Sansus try 16-0; 31: A Forlani try 21-0; 37: C Joyeaux try 26-0. Half-time. 49: Sansus try, Drouin con 33-0; 56: E Higgins try 33-5; 67: E Boulard try, Tremouliere con 40-5.

FRANCE: E Boulard; C Banet, M Filopon, G Vernier, M Llorens; C Drouin, L Sansus; C Lindelauf, L Touyé, C Joyeux; M Fall, A Forlani; A Berthoumeu, G Hermet, R Ménager.

Replacements: J Tremouliere for Drouin, A Khalfaoui for Joyeaux, A Deshayes for Lindelauf, C Ferer for Fall (all 56 mins); A Chambon for Sansus (60); J Annery for Hermet (63); C Jacquet for Vernier, C Domain for Touye (both 69).

Yellow card: Boulard (84).

IRELAND: E Considine; A-L Murphy Crowe, E Higgins, S Flood, L Mulhall; N Cronin, A Reilly; L Djougang, N Jones, K O'Dwyer; N Fryday, S Monaghan; D Wall, E McMahon, B Hogan.

Replacements: C Haney for K O'Dwyer, B Parsons for L Mulhall (both 40 mins); E Hooban for Jones, K Dane for Reilly, H O'Connor for Hogan (all 56);A McGann for Fryday, E Breen for Flood (both 73).

Referee: A Barrett-Theron (SA).