Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Exiled family returns to Somaliland

Read more

DEBATE

Whose boots on the ground? Turkey wary of Syrian Kurds (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Whose boots on the ground? Turkey wary of Syrian Kurds

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dacian Ciolos, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

EU-US free trade agreement: A bad deal for European consumers?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Somali president

Read more

ENCORE!

Tony Allen: Putting the 'beat' in Afrobeat

Read more

REPORTERS

Uruguay: President Mujica’s social revolution

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Turkey ‘turns blind eye’ to border-crossing jihadists

Read more

Sport

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

  • RUGBY

    Sluggish France in narrow win over Scotland

    Read more

  • Rugby

    Wales sink England at Twickenham with late try

    Read more

  • RUGBY - SIX NATIONS

    Wales crush Scotland 27-13 after late blitz

    Read more

COMMENT(S)