France kept their chances of the Grand Slam alive with a 10-9 win against Ireland in Paris
Three Johnny Sexton penalties gave the Irish a 9-3 lead at the break
Les Bleus though came back to win through Maxime Medard’s late score
Maxime Medard’s late try snatched victory for France over a battered and bruised Ireland in an attritional and scrappy Six Nations contest in Paris.
The Irish dominated the opening 40 in testing conditions, pushing France back into their own 22 time after time but they couldn’t convert that pressure into points.
However, they did manage to lead 9-3 at half-time thanks to a trio of Jonny Sexton penalty’s. Jules Plisson meanwhile had Les Bleus on the scoreboard.
However, despite his side’s first half display, Joe Schmidt would have been concerned as he lost Sean O’Brien and Dave Kearney, who had both only just returned to the starting XV, to injury.
France though managed to make Ireland pay for not taking their first half opportunities as Medard crashed over after 70 minutes for the games opening and only try with Plisson converting to give the hosts the narrow one-point victory.
France: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Virimi Vakatawa, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Sébastien Bézy, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Yacouba Camara, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Alexandre Flanquart, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Guilhem Guirado (c), 1 Jefferson Poirot.
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Rabah Slimani, 18 Eddy Ben Arous, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Loann Goujon, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Jean-Marc Doussain, 23 Hugo Bonneval
Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O’Brien, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Mike McCarthy, 3 Nathan White, 2 Rory Best (c), 1 Jack McGrath
Replacements: 16 Richard Strauss, 17 James Cronin, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Donnacha Ryan, 20 Tommy O’Donnell, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Fergus McFadden
Date: Saturday, February 13
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 15:25 local (14:25 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)