Best glad to bow out at home with try as Ireland cruise past France


Dublin (AFP)

Ireland captain Rory Best was glad to mark his final home appearance in the Six Nations Championship with a try during a 26-14 win over France in Dublin on Sunday.

The 36-year-old hooker said Saturday that "it's fairly certain" this year's World Cup in Japan will be the end of an international career that has now yielded 116 caps.

On Sunday the Ulster front row led from the front yet again, peeling off a drive from a line-out to score the first try of the match as early as the third minute at Lansdowne Road.

Ireland scored four tries in total -- Jonathan Sexton, Jack Conan and Keith Earls also crossing -- to secure a bonus-point win.

Victory gave reigning champions Ireland an outside chance of winning the title in next weekend's final round of matches, although they will both need to beat Grand Slam chasing Wales in Cardiff and then see England slip-up against Scotland at Twickenham if they are to complete a successful defence.

Ireland beat world champions New Zealand in Dublin in November and while Sunday's match was nowhere near those heights, an encouraged Best said: "We played a lot more attacking rugby, there was a lot more motion out there in the first half especially we are a lot closer to how we were in November."

Best, speaking to Virgin Media Ireland, added: "On the one hand it is disappointing I will never play in another one (a Six Nations home game) but on the other what a way to go out, putting 26 points over a good French side. That is great."

Ireland were 26-0 up until three minutes from the end when France, frustratingly saving their best for a time when the match was lost, managed converted tries from Yoann Huget and Camille Chat that skewed the scoreline.