Don't miss




Is France a chain-smoking nation?

Read more


'I got the power': Womanspreading takes hold of social media (and maybe 2018)

Read more


What a story! France investigating Russian billionaire senator over tax fraud

Read more


US retailers gear up for post-Thanksgiving splurge

Read more


Stars join campaign to #FreeCyntoiaBrown

Read more


Mnangagwa to be sworn in as Zimbabwe's president on Friday

Read more


Hard bargaining: Lebanon prime minister returns and suspends resignation

Read more


Keepers of the flame: Native American communities seeking to protect their cultural legacy

Read more


Tunisians disillusioned, seven years after revolution

Read more


France's Six Nations grand slam hopes end with Irish draw

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-03-04

France's hopes of a Six Nations grand slam were dashed on Sunday despite fighting back from 17-6 at the break to draw 17-all with Ireland at the Stade de France.

REUTERS - France's Six Nations grand slam hopes ended on Sunday when they could only manage a 17-17 draw at home to Ireland despite a stirring second-half comeback.

The game, postponed three weeks ago due to a frozen pitch, started with Ireland on fire as Tommy Bowe scored two first-half tries to leave the visitors 17-6 up at the break.

However, Morgan Parra's boot and Wesley Fofana touching down helped Les Bleus salvage a point and send the Stade de France fans home at least a little cheery.

France are second in the Six Nations standings behind Wales, the only team still in position to achieve a grand slam, while Ireland are fourth.

Philippe Saint-Andre's side host England in their penultimate match next Sunday after Ireland welcome Scotland on Saturday.

"We came back too late to win this game. We are very disappointed with the result," France captain Thierry Dusautoir told a pitchside interviewer.

France got off to a bad start, conceding a penalty for not releasing in the ruck, only for Jonathan Sexton to fluff his attempt from dead centre.

The hosts then tried to run the ball from the 22-metre line but Aurelien Rougerie's ill-fated pass was intercepted by Bowe, who touched down under the posts. Sexton added the extras to put Ireland 7-0 up after 12 minutes.

Parra reduced the arrears with a penalty after Ireland were caught offside as France were piling on the pressure on the five-metre line.

Sexton restored Ireland's seven-point advantage after France, who relied a lot more on kicking than usual, conceded a penalty for not rolling away after a tackle.

Parra then kept his team afloat with a well-executed 45-metre penalty that went just inside the right post.

France upped their level with lock Pascal Pape making some devastating runs but Parra failed to convert his third penalty after Ireland were once again adjudged to be offside.

The World Cup finalists fell 11 points behind on the stroke of halftime after they lost another ball in the ruck and Bowe beat a tackle, kicked and gathered a good bounce before touching down again.

France came out in the second half with all guns blazing but their handling was too poor to send them over the line.
Parra's boot at least was good enough to narrow the gap to eight points after Ireland collapsed a maul.

They were definitely back in the game when centre Fofana, who has now scored a try in each of his three France appearances, dived over after being set up on the wing by Francois Trinh-Duc.

Parra added another penalty as France seemed on the verge of turning the situation around but Ireland defended fiercely as Les Bleus missed a couple of late drop goal attempts.

Date created : 2012-03-04


    Sluggish France in narrow win over Scotland

    Read more

  • Rugby

    Wales sink England at Twickenham with late try

    Read more


    Wales crush Scotland 27-13 after late blitz

    Read more