Gabby Logan hosts live Six Nations rugby as France take on Ireland at the Stade de France. Studio guests include Paul O'Connell and Jeremy Guscott.
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Ireland bring England crashing to
Jacques Brunel is coming in,
not met with widespread excitement.
A record win for Ireland. Conor
Murray gets the tribe for Ireland.
The talent coming out of
French rugby is still frightening.
It is not Strictly Come Dancing.
course Ireland go out as favourites.
There is the weight of expectation
for Ireland to go out and deliver.
Plenty to digester for the French
rugby fans arriving at the start to
In December, the French Federation
sacked a head coach
for the first time ever -
Guy Noves the man to
suffer the guillotine.
Into the hot seat comes
Jacques Brunel, with just five weeks
to prepare for this match.
And he's taken a big gamble
in his team, bringing in 19-year-old
Matthieu Jalibert at Fly Half
for his first cap.
The Irish, in contrast,
are in fine fettle.
Seven wins in a row and 32 tries
in those matches as well.
They hand Six Nations debuts
to three players as well.
Including young second
row James Ryan.
Welcome to Paris. The first match
for France, freezing, grey skies and
we are all shivering appear in the
studio. But to warm you up with
their comments and receptive
observations Paul O'Connell and the
rest of the team. We are all very
excited. You can feel the excitement
ahead of this Six Nations. It is
It is an exciting
time of year for everyone, for the
fans and the players. The French
have the possibility of six new
caps. That brings excitement to
French rugby. It reminded me of 2000
when five players got their caps for
England and they had a record win
over Scotland. So hopefully for
Ireland, that will not indicate the
Well we will look at Ireland
in a minute. But let's talk about
France. And French rugby in some
kind of disarray. And the first ever
coach sacked. Jacques Brunel has
come in, not dynamic enough for
many. Is this a new low or a new
Well diagnosis was picked by
the former president. They were
fighting as we know. And Guy Noves
had too much pressure. So bad that
came the opportunity to get a new
coach, a guy that they trust.
know how difficult this job is. You
were in that hot seat with that
weight of expectation and of course
the difficulty is dealing with the
clubs who do not always seek
international rugby as a priority.
Is that the biggest challenge, to
get the clubs onside?
I do not
remember having so much stress!
does not look like you are stressed.
It was tough. But during
It was tough. But during the ten
years, we made changes. But we can
see much more French players and
some young players coming in today.
Well it certainly is visible how
much it has been in decline looking
at the winning rates of the coaches
over the past six years. 33%
win right for Guy Noves.
resources they have, the number of
players. It is right up there in
terms of popularity as the game. But
hardly any French players and too
many foreigners and that is
affecting the national side.
Jacques Brunel has some pedigree. He
has been coach at Bordeaux before
coming here. So he has gone
ambitions and he will give these
guys are run at being quality
He has gone with
youth and fitness in the shape of
Jalibert coming through onto the
international stage. He really is
He is a fantastic
footballer that he started three
months ago with his first game in
the Top 14. So he is talented but it
is a big ask.
is a big ask. The fly-half has not
performed well for ten years and new
players are coming in to have a go.
They're looking take responsibility.
Well I would be excited about today
because this guy, his speed and
acceleration, he is a platinum
attacker. And you want to fly-half
like that who will be ambitions. As
long as there are not many
I think Johnny Sexton
has got to control the game a little
bit more. And in these wet
conditions as well. The kicking game
will have to be really accurate.
Territory will be really important.
And we have seen some bad habits
last year from the French team. That
silly penalty playing the ball on
the ground. Slimani, the French
number three. Grabbing his legs and
that was also a penalty. Conditions
were poor, similar to today. And
Ireland peppered them with some high
kicks. This scrum was in front of
the posts as well. And just that
silly penalty. And that was three
points. Ireland did not create a lot
in the game last year. They only
scored one try. But a big part was
the kicking game, Conor Murray and
Is Jacques Brunel the
man well placed to stop those sloppy
mistakes, is he known as a good
Yes the atmosphere
is much better. He has given
responsibility to the players. But
we need first a good set piece and
good discipline. And after the
kicking game will be very important.
The back free will need to be spot
on. We've just seen a game where we
thought Scotland would be
comfortable in this open plan but
they were not. But for France with
these inexperienced players they
could bring some surprises for
And that is one big
advantage for Ireland taking away,
the players are good at getting to
know the opposition and doing their
work. So that advantage has been
taken away. Ireland do not really
know how France are going to play
and Jalibert, they have not got a
lot to go on.
Johnny Sexton said
that, it is a bit discombobulatedly
to know so little about your
opposite number. We shall see.
opposite number. We shall see. Now
let's focus on Ireland. Coming off
the back of seven wins in a row and
it all began in March with that
victory over England to deny them
the Grand Slam.
A thunderous start guaranteed. The
Irish, kitchen-sink at the ready.
Johnny Sexton just the kind of man
for a day like this.
Ireland on the
Ireland with the try. A fifth
score for Henderson. Ireland into
double figures. The cleanest of
strikes from Owen Farrell. That is a
monstrous kick from Johnny Sexton.
Keeping England in touch. Ireland
bring England crashing to earth.
Eddie Jones has stirred the pot seen
Ireland are favourites.
comfortable with that. I'm just
comfortable with the group and how
much hard work to get through. I do
not get distracted by what anyone
says. It does not really influence
what we go out and do. We can only
try to control as many variables as
we can and those are more on the
pitch than off the pitch was a
Johnny Sexton had a torrid time here
a couple of years ago. Do you have
plans to make life uncomfortable for
young Jalibert customer I do not
think we centre on him. Chavancy is
a strong runner. And Thomas comic
you do not let him have too much
space. So not to focus too much on
Jalibert. At the same time we would
not liking to get too comfortable
because he looks like a talented
You have players
making their debut today for the Six
Including Ake. I hope that
he is a huge handful today for
France. And begged that -- backed up
by Stockdale and Ryan. They are
excited about the opportunity, a bit
nervous but that is to be expected.
With the level they expect
themselves to perform at and the
pressure of this first game in the
So there they are,
seven wins in a row starting with
England, dumping South Africa,
plenty of younger players of course.
But if we are going to be picky
perhaps not the most difficult run
of matches comparing some of the
other games in the autumn tests.
That is probably true, they have not
really been tested since playing
England. But it has given them the
chance to catch a few players as
well and to widen the squad. That
was a problem in the last World Cup,
the depth of the squad but now there
is depth in Irish rugby for the
first time in a long time. That is
produced special considering there
are only for professional teams.
James Ryan is one of the debutants
today. Keeping Devin Toner out of
the sides of the his first Six
He is a former captain
of the Irish under 20s team. The
kind of modern second round. He goes
from a good six to potentially good
second row. He is very tall,
excellent line-out operator. A good
off loader. And getting back to full
fitness after being out with
injuries. That is the only thing
that could hold him back, those
injuries early in his career. But he
has got that fitness now and he is
going to blossom in this
championship. Great to see him
getting a cap with an experienced
side as well.
Is he the Irish Maro Itoje?
probably is! And he has the same
attributes, brilliant attitude,
brilliant trainer, they have to pull
him back from training rather than
pushing towards it, which is great.
I think he has great potential.
like you! He loved training.
miles behind where this guy is.
are being modest. Let's talk about
Bundee Aki, a man who has been on a
real journey to find his
international career, at 27. He has
Yes, he came over as a
young man, he came to England, he
went to Truro college at 16, and he
played at Bath with the skills coach
from Exeter, took under his wing,
talented there, and he went back to
New Zealand because he had a child.
He worked as a bank clerk.
To look after his family,
which is tremendous. And he was
brought over, you sign up for
Connacht, and from all accounts he
is a real man of the team. When
Connacht won be Pro12, he was
playing that season, so he let by
example. He has come with a New
Zealand work ethic, brought back to
the Irish fold, and when you hear
people like Brian O'Driscoll say
that he is a quality player, they're
on his merit, you know he is good.
He has been embraced by the team in
terms of any international issues,
the rules changing to five years.
There is no ill feeling towards him.
In Ireland, there are four
professional teams, so they probably
had to use that rule a bit more than
most, but they used it well. Guys
like CJ Stander as well, Jared
Payne, injured at the moment, they
made a big sacrifice to come over,
to move their families over and try
something different, so the players
have a lot of respect for them, and
they really look after them and they
are delighted to play with them.
When he went Connacht, it was
probably a gamble for him, playing
for evicting side. And he had a
fantastic season that year, and they
won be Pro12. -- playing for a
fantastic side. He is fantastic.
Let's talk tactics, we expect a
gripping game from Ireland, and why
not, when you got Murray and text
and in the side. This is what France
will have to better with an last
time. -- and Sexton.
For the last
five years, we built a strategy,
kicking, and also all the challenge
on the eyeball.
on the eyeball. I don't think the
Irish ways will help us, because I
think you are the master, also with
your scrum-half and fly half.
not always the most popular thing
with a purist, and it doesn't always
win new fans, does it, that's kind
of tactic, when you employ it all
the time, but if it's a effective,
Those clips from last year,
I led about six points ahead, they
had two fantastic players in Johnny
Sexton and Connor Murray, and they
kept pinning back France, and with
Andy Farrell in defence, getting
into your face and make you make
defence, so you are chasing the game
and you have to play, but you are
playing in front of this
disciplined, hard defence, which
makes you make defence. Ireland
capitalised and kicked penalties,
and they'd be good at that.
side would wish that they have a
kicking strategy as good as Ireland
do with Johnny Sexton and Connor
Murray. It gives so much momentum,
We have an Irish
legend in the studio, and there's
another one with Sonja McClaughlin,
but slightly speedier than this one.
Somebody would have beaten Paul
O'Connell in a foot race! Given that
you have played on the win, what
have you made Jacob Stockdale?
excited, along with the rest of the
country. He's a big kid, great for
international rugby, because it's a
physical environment. I'm excited to
see how he does today, he has a
natural finishing side, and he
hasn't four tried in four games.
Impressive strike rate already. He
is tall and quick, even such a young
age, the complete winger already.
It's always nice to be a big guy,
Shane Horgan, guys like that,
because it's so physical. There are
challenges, defensively at times
against this season, he had
challenges. There are a few things
he has to work at, but he's good.
neck injury curtailed your career.
Do you wish you were playing today?
I don't know, there are some big
guys! Is something you always miss
and you will treasure for the rest
of your life.
As always, a cracking atmosphere,
and the tenth time that France had
played Ireland at the Stade de
France in the Six Nations. They tend
to be corkers.
A moment of individualism. Iron can
it be the perfect finish for Brian
O'Driscoll in his last game? Ireland
are Six Nations champions.
is freezing, the match is off.
By 10-9, France lead Ireland.
They have really been fantastic
encounters, these two here at the
Stade de France over the years. What
it one of your favourite places to
come and play rugby, Paul O'Connell?
I wouldn't say that! I only beat
France once there in 2014, to win
the championship. It's been a tough
place Irish teams over the years. In
recent years, decent enough record,
but historically we've really
struggled. For some of the older
guys like me, you still have a
hang-up about that, so for James
Ryan, the last four or five years,
we've been watching Ireland doing
really well again.
And they have no
historical baggage in that respect.
Although Ireland have been doing
well of late and they are different
contenders, the waveform, only five
defeats in seven, two wins is all,
that's something you got to rectify.
-- the waveform.
I'm not sure, when
you are part of a team, we're not
going to go there. You are thinking
about that game the seasoning, this
afternoon, and how you are going to
impart what you been doing all week.
You don't go back into history. The
Irish team is well drilled. It is
manicured. With the rugby brains of
Murray and Sexton, those two girls
Ali guys taking it on the field,
No matter what certain
sense you take over, it's a moment
of intense pride.
With the French
team, what's fantastic, we lost the
last five games, but the atmosphere
today is amazing and fantastic, and
I think this will be a brilliant
There is a mismatch in
terms of experience between these
sides. The French side, 262 caps,
Ireland, 819. When it comes to
international experience, you'd
fancy Ireland all day long.
the experience together as a group.
Joe Schmidt, his fifth or sixth day
in the championship, so they are
familiar. For a lot of the Leinster
guys, he has been coaching them
longer. When Leinster were coached
by Stuart Lancaster, the same
defensive system as anti-viral, a
lot of continuity in the Irish game
at the moment. -- and the Barrow.
And that continuity counts for a
, It does, because the
depth that Joe Schmidt goes into,
preparing a side, it's incredible.
It's almost information overload.
But he has magic this Irish side
into understanding and accepting it
and also, they put their own spin on
things. When you are out there, you
can't beat that programmes, you have
to act in the moment. When you have
players as skilful as Murray and
Sexton alongside the new players
like Bundee Aki, who isn't used to
the system, you do what comes
naturally. The way the Irish play
today will be direct, because they
are looking at Jalibert, who isn't
big, he isn't strong, but he has
abrasions. -- brains.
I asked if it was a new dawn or a
new low, and you think it was a new
dawn with that reception. What an
atmosphere! The smoke is billowing.
It's wonderful in the stadium right
now. Expectation and excitement. The
French public certainly hoping for
something from this new era. What do
you expect today, a French victory?
I would say my heart says France,
but my brain says no. So France by
It is points. Ireland for me.
Will go to a commentary team, Luke
Fitzgerald, Brian maul and Eddie
Butler. Enjoy these, they are always
ANNOUNCEMENT IN FRENCH.
Ladies and gentlemen, in
Ladies and gentlemen, in honour...
ANNOUNCEMENT ECHOES AROUND STADIUM.
# Come the day and come the hour
Come the power and the glory
# We have come to answer
Our country's call
# From the four proud provinces of
# Ireland, Ireland
Together standing tall
# Shoulder to shoulder
We'll answer Ireland's call
# Ireland, Ireland
Together standing tall
# Shoulder to shoulder
We'll answer Ireland's call
# We'll answer Ireland's call. #
ANNOUNCEMENT IN FRENCH.
# Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrive
# Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'etendard sanglant est leve
# L'etendard sanglant est leve
# Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces feroces soldats
# Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras
Egorger vos fils, vos compagnes!
# Aux armes, citoyens
Formez vos bataillons
# Marchons, marchons
# Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons # !
# Amour sacre de la Patrie
Welcome to the Six Nations in Paris.
Jack Bruno, -- Jacques Brunel,
installed as coach. No try has been
scored by anybody in the second or
back row. All eyes on Matthieu
Jalibert, 19 years, 89 days old.
He'll be up against Johnny Sexton,
and there will be a lot... Geoffrey
Palis is at full-back, a brand-new
start for him in the Six Nations.
James Ryan, into the second row.
Plenty of experience in front of
him. Rory Best, the 106 captaincy
for the hooker, and the captain, CJ
Stander, at number eight, will be
targeting Jalibert. Johnny Sexton
wears number ten. The contrast of
the outside-halves. 69th cap for
Sexton, 14 years Jalibert's senior.
We normally look to the replacements
bench to bring on experience and
power but it is a brand-new bench
for France. So many near the front
row players have not played in the
Six Nations. Of course France are
built to surprise.
They are but how
much they can do it against Ireland
side which so experienced especially
in defence but we will see. I doubt
Aki playing in the Centre for
Ireland. His first game in the Six
Nations. Nigel Owens of Wales the
referee today. The first touch for
Jalibert and were off. Conor Murray,
presumably not the first time
Ireland will put boot to ball.
Gourdon. Camara. Ireland forced the
strong flanker out of play.
strong flanker out of play.
see how the battle goes. It will
revolve I would think around the two
number eight. Stander is the more
experienced. He needs to come
inside, that is poor play.
Ryan. Aki. The elusiveness of Keith
earls on the wing.
earls on the wing. Penalty
advantage, Furlong involved.
Machenaud made the tackle. We go
back for the penalty put up and
hello to Luke Fitzgerald in the
Thank you, it was an
interesting start. Good from
Ireland, a few guys getting their
hands on the ball and a nice bit of
defence to get that line-out. So a
They got round the
outside of France quite easily.
feel that they will target that guy.
I believe France are vulnerable on
the wilder parts of the pitch from
kicking and passing as well.
kicking and passing as well.
earls back in action. Johnny Sexton
are very familiar sight.
are very familiar sight. Slimani the
No problem for Johnny Sexton.
will have to be careful in that area
of the game. They averaged over four
times more penalties than Ireland in
their last encounter.
Johnny Sexton the captain.
Keith earls with the follow-up and
Ireland moved smoothly into the
We see what an easy
exit that was put up that pinpoint
kicking. Ireland, their aerial and
chasing game has been good for many
I'm not surprised, they spent
a huge amount of time in that area
and they try to be as prepared as
possible in that area.
Told to get back onside.
Penalty given for breaking the bind.
With this French team I think they
will be most dangerous in Little
scraps like that. I don't have the
advantage in terms of organisation
but they do pose a threat behind the
Just checking work Johnny
Sexton has gone. Thomas waiting.
Tackled by Stockdale.
Tackled by Stockdale. Machenaud.
Jalibert with his trademark kick and
Jonny Sexton, much more effective
into the corner, clever little kick.
That is the difference between them,
Jalibert trying something
spectacular against a very organised
defence. Then Johnny Sexton, superb
kick into the corner to put pressure
Went straight to Keith
Henderson, challenge on the
French throne. Good clearance under
Ireland are strong in this kind of
positions. They could throw in a lot
of crossfield kicks at the French
Henderson winning the
line-out. Aki. Cian Healy. Safely
back to Conor Murray. He makes the
Pallas, a very long kick.
It will be
interesting to see how much fluency
friends can produce after such a
short preparation time with their
The ball got slowed up a
Gourdon into the heart
of the midfield.
Chavancy, a first glimpse.
Thomas coming off his wing.
Vakatawa. Victoria. Out wide. France
patiently building. Thomas given a
roaming role today.
roaming role today. Vakatawa has
Jalibert now. Advantage being
played, the ball went forward.
phases for France. Against an Irish
defence which was always
comfortable. They have powerful
runners but if you cannot give the
defenders more questions to answer
and do not have options inside and
outside and runners available, with
a defence like Ireland who are so
well organised, they're going to
come at you.
Just looking at those
phases for France, trying to
maintain width. A lot of the guys
getting drawn towards the ball.
Holding width would give the players
an opportunity to get a one-on-one
and they have fantastic athletes.
But you do not get those
opportunities if you are too tight.
Johnny Sexton. Felt the full force
of Vakatawa coming his way.
Ireland have improved out of all
recognition in this area. The front
five was not seen as a dominant
scrummaging set piece unit but they
are now and they have got that
Coming under pressure here.
Rory Best. The scrum going down.
France with a slight nudge forward.
Back towards the 22. Cian Healy.
Makes a yard outside the 22. Conor
Murray cannot kick directly to
touch. He aims instead at Palis who
takes it well.
takes it well. Thomas. Doing well to
stay away from the touchline. France
just getting a bit of width.
Vakatawa, good tackle. Machenaud.
France making no ground at all. The
After the any penalty it is a bit
-- early penalty. I would be
happy if I was Ireland. You just
want a settled period in an away
game. Three points up. They have not
had much ball and when they do get
back I think there will be more
creative and threatening than France
Machenaud prepares to feed the
scrummage. Free kick. Gourdon.
Knocks on. Irish ball.
Knocks on. Irish ball.
Brian made a
fantastic point early on, one of the
strengths of this team is the front
row. It is such a nice thing is back
to know you have that security and
strength in that area. They have
given away a few soft penalties at
the start of the game but normally
this is a strong part of the for
Ireland. -- of the game.
I must say, the turf here at the
Stade de France is in such good
condition, compared with a ploughed
field it has sometimes been in the
past. Connor Murray drills its down
to the corner. Palis keeps it on the
park. Sexton looks infield and goes
high. Under pressure, Thomas.
Ireland reclaim possession. A
chance, options on both sides.
Penalty advantage to France, though.
There is none. Nigel Owens goes
back. Chavancy, wearing 12 for
France. Sebastien Vahaamahina, the
Disappointing, from a really
good regather from Connor Murray.
Ireland find themselves with the
lowest penalty points on average in
every game. A few loose ones to
start, and I think they'll look to
tighten it up in the next few
Palis the line-out, taking
Thomas. -- Teddy Thomas rises high,
but there was just a chance here.
but there was just a chance here. A
bit of nostalgia for you, Brian.
Just to say, those are French
pictures, which is why you are
getting the after slow motion
Chavancy, stopped in his
tracks. Machenaud. Jalibert. In open
Well, the French crowd were
temporarily excited, and yet, in
reality, Ireland simply guided
France towards the touchline. They
were never really in danger, two men
Nice to see some creativity
all the time. I like the move, I
like that they are trying to
manipulate and condense that Ireland
defence, and go outside to the pace,
of which they have in abundance out
France putting something on the
maul. Vakatawa. Infield, then trying
to straighten it. It's Robbie
Henshaw who can't get away. He's
been penalised. Jalibert. Free play
for France now. Rob Kearney comes
forward, takes it well, but back to
Back to your point
about giving penalties.
unusual start for them, and I think
there will be messages coming from
the sidelines that they need to
tighten up. It's OK for France to
have the ball, Ireland have looked
comfortable so far. They need to get
it under control, it was easy
pressure for France, and they will
get heart from that and I think
Palis again, towards
this near touchline.
this near touchline. He had a few
weeks, had to serve a little
sentence for a few discussions...
Well stolen by Ireland. But they
didn't do their sums right. CJ
Stander just hangs onto the ball,
just to delay things.
making the point numbers three times
there. I have to say, very
REFEREE: The decision is made, the
scrum is here, the numbers.
You are too late getting out. The
scrummage, Brian. I suppose it was a
free kick, wasn't it?
that France have had problems on
their line-out so far, not surprised
they've taken this option. All
depends on whether they can get a
good striking clean ball, give them
back -- give their backs some
options, or whether they will try
and put the Irish under pressure and
try and force a penalty.
A free kick for not straight.
However, Cian Healy was a terrible
angle. -- was at a terrible angle.
think they were lucky he called it
back after the kick. Johnny Sexton
missed touch, so a few fortunate
events in a row.
Only a free kick, Sexton kicks it in
play. Palis can't take it. Lauret
was by his side to clear up the
possession. Vahaamahina. Tadhg
Furlong involved in the tackle.
Connor Murray is back, and rises
Cian Healy. Sexton. Van der Flier
come out among the backs. -- Van der
Flier, out among the backs. James
Ryan, nearly to the halfway line.
Good hands from the prop. CJ
Stander, Stockdale. Picked up by
Stockdale did very well to get to
it. A very messy and slow run, but
considering he was up against three
or four French players and Ireland
have come at a -- come away with it,
it's worked. Earls.
it's worked. Earls. Back to the 22
metre line, just in front of Ireland
as they come, through second row,
Ryan. The other one, Iain Henderson.
Penalty advantage, free play for
Johnny Sexton. It will be a penalty.
Drop goal misses.
Drop goal misses. Penalty against
A lovely bit of play
from Ireland. Something there has
been a renewed focus on the island
is being more expensive, and a big
part of a renewed game plan is the
board. Sean O'Brien is missing
today, so can Josh van der Flier
fill that void for Ireland?
hands by Cian Healy. And you also
saw the ball back inside just before
the breakdown, which gave the
penalty. That's what I'm talking
about, posing different questions
for defenders. If you get a straight
one out, it doesn't matter if you
have got width or you defence it --
condense it. International players
are too well organised and they will
stop pupils vary the point, give
them so much doubt as to where they
can target it, and you are likely to
get just beyond the gain line and
everything else becomes a lot
Johnny Sexton, in front of the
Ireland doubled their lead.
CJ Stander, tackled by Camara.
Conor Murray. Hasn't gone very far.
Thomas. Knocking it on. Advantage
being played. Murray. Stander.
Sexton. Gourdon is back. Palis.
Murray, again covering it. A free
opportunity, nobody on the Irish
side but anywhere near it. Carbery
comes away with advantage over.
Again, it's all too easily pushed
out of play. The flag is up.
out of play. The flag is up. Nigel
Owens being advised about the height
of the tackle.
Lets wait for the
decision. It's not going to be high.
Play on, he slipped over his back,
and over his head.
Perhaps what was missed was the fact
that Conor Murray found himself in a
situation where he thought, if I'd
played this ball, I might impede the
running player, so he decided not to
go anywhere near it, clever play.
Peter O'Mahoney won the line-out.
Dumped to the ground. But here comes
Bundee Aki. Does well to get into
the French half. Iain Henderson, on
Josh van der Flier. There is the
Henderson. Johnny Sexton, Bundee
Aki, good strength under pressure.
James Ryan. That familiar line. Made
a mess of it. Jalibert in hot
pursuit. Rob Kearney goes back. Did
he get back to his feet? Real
pressure from France. Now Ireland,
instead of attacking the halfway
line, are on their own goal line.
Very calm presence of Conor Murray,
in charge of the defensive
operation. Teddy Thomas.
strain for Ireland, having -- a
strength for Ireland, having Conor
Murray in that position. A lot of
encouraging signs for France,
defensively solid and I like their
shape in the back field, not giving
Ireland easy opportunities to the
ball in behind them.
Rob Kearney under pressure. Camara
build another French attack with the
Scrum down, Irish ball.
anything from the line-out with that
is offside. The referee has let them
get away with one drive. If you
detach from the original setup and
go round the corner, like the French
state, then it seems that the
players in front are obstructing. --
like the French did. When you go
round the side here, that is when
they will penalised you, or they'll
give obstruction against you.
Ireland comfortable at the moment.
But just being held back by a bit of
ill discipline and small
inaccuracies. Things will get a lot
better when they tidied those up.
think they look solid but just
struggling to get a bit of momentum.
The few times they have it has come
from a pass. There should be passing
more forward to Ford, change the
point of direction.
Such a different game from the
opener in Cardiff.
It is but the
opener in Cardiff had no structure
from one team and then Wales played
Stander, and Ireland have the
penalty. The crowd in Paris again
There are no rules changes in
advance of two years from World Cup.
But one or two directives. One to
make sure there's no movement in the
scrum and the other to stop comments
from players. Slammy, I think his
words, perhaps discussing Donald
Trump, I do not know!
Trump, I do not know!
see what Ireland have prepared in
the week. They have been practising
to try to pull apart this French
Aki. Low centre of gravity.
Left Jalibert on the floor. Here is
Stockdale. Jalibert still down.
Stockdale. Jalibert still down. Play
on from James Ryan. A good run by
the second row. Sexton.
Ryan again. Two players down. The
ball goes behind the first.
Aki on Jalibert and the young
Frenchman is down. And so is Aki.
might be built more for that
collision than Jalibert. James Ryan
has had a strong start to the game.
We have not spoken about him a huge
amount coming into the game. But
he's only just in the team ahead of
Devin Toner. He has had a fantastic
start. He is surviving really well
at this level.
at this level.
Belleau of Toulon.
And it looks like a knee injury for
It is his knee.
Jalibert, the youngest ever
outside-half, going off. Belleau
That is very unfortunate for
Jalibert. He had a few nice touches,
nothing too expensive but doing the
simple things right so that is
unfortunate. Hopefully we will see
him back on the pitch.
Nigel Owens laying down the law.
People say you should not warn both
props until you're sure you have
seen one of them doing wrong. But
for me it is sort it out or get off.
On the 22, space on both sides.
Robbie Henshaw and Aki a long way
apart. CJ Stander protected from
Conor Murphy. -- Conor Murray. Iain
Henderson, CJ Stander on his
shoulder. Tight furlong. Peter
O'Mahony with good support.
O'Mahony with good support. Sexton
back in his guiding position. Sexton
a little dummy. Gourdon reading it,
covered, tackles. Stander.
Cian Healy. Ten metres to go for
Ireland. Van der Flier.
What will Sexton try. Ireland in
front of the posts. CJ Stander, the
French defence good.
Conor Murray waives the forwards,
Cian Healy obeys the instruction.
France think they have turned it
over. Ireland narrow for the
majority, Palis clearing the line.
Excellent defence from France. It is
the easiest place on the pitch to
attack but that physical commitment
was fantastic. Slowing down the
Ireland ball consistently. Momentum
is key. It makes all your decisions
a lot easier if you're going
forward. And a lot more difficult
defensively if the other team has
Conor Murray delivers the ball going
backwards. Play on. Rory Best.
backwards. Play on. Rory Best. Into
the French 22. Vakatawa cannot
We thought Jalibert walking past
limping, clearly he hurt his knee in
collision with Aki but we're told by
touchline officials that he has gone
off for an HIA to check if he has
concussion. So that means that
France have additional time to check
over, worked on him and getting back
onto the pitch.
A head injury assessment for the
young outside-half. Keith earls
plays outside-half position.
plays outside-half position. Furlong
fights for a few feet of space.
Gourdon Terrace is out on the French
side. Rob Kearney turned and got
back in time. Chased down by
Chavancy. Booker winning the tackle.
-- the hooker.
In front of the posts.
In front of the posts.
excellent French defence of said
putting huge pressure on Ireland at
the breakdown. Great success slowing
down the ball against Ireland. For
me Ireland need to be war creative.
Give themselves half a second extra
on the ball to maybe get an
opportunity to do something else.
Those kind of things would make it
more difficult for France to put on
the kind of pressure that they are.
The scrum-half Machenaud will be
taking the kick at goal.
Lamerat limping around the field.
Nigel Owens having a word with
Poirot. Standing and applauding and
the kick is good. France have three,
Johnny Sexton. To Belleau.
France have been very good
challenging at the breakdown.
I no real forward momentum so far.
Another charge by James Ryan. Van
Van der Flier got hit.
That will have hurt.
That furlong carry is a perfect
example, that ball needs to go just
one more. They need to give each
other space out there, to get one on
one opportunities to get that
freedom for Conor Murray and Johnny
Sexton to run the game plan.
head came into contact,
head came into contact, Guirado
injuring his hip or five. With
defence when they are so well
organised, unless, there are one of
two players like Vinnie -- Billy
Vunipola, they can make yards after
the initial contact, you have to
find a way to make defenders move
out of their set standards. So they
cannot get a full hit on you. By
doing that, just moving it then you
have the chance to do that.
forced to make a change. Van der
Flier, his day is done. And of
replacement already on, Dan Leavy.
He is the guy who has had a really
good underage career. This year and
last year he has established himself
with Sean O'Brien being out injured.
He is a huge part of what made
Leinster so competitive this year in
the league and in the cup.
inviting position for Ireland. A few
set scrums in the middle of the
field. And they have split their
centres. Split their three quarters.
Conor Murray. To Aki. Little dart by
the inside centre. Peter O'Mahony
goes to scrum-half position. Conor
Murray back there now. The first
touch for Dan Leavy.
touch for Dan Leavy. Johnny Sexton,
Penshaw, on the good angle.
Penshaw, on the good angle. The
switch of direction by Johnny
Sexton. CJ Stander delivers.
James Ryan. France have to be
careful not to pick up the player
beyond the horizontal.
Penalty against Sebastien
You want to come in and
play the ball, no problem. Don't
come in and play the man without the
He also doesn't come in from a
A bit lucky not to
have that look that a bit closer.
Not sure there were too many arms in
that. Thankfully Conor Murray is
able to continue. Better from
Ireland, they changed the point of
attack better, they looked like they
were trying to be expensive, but
France look good defensively to me
You are right, Luke.
So one wondering left arm, perhaps.
Irrespective of the technicalities,
the fact is it a goal penalty
giveaway in front of your posts to
let Ireland though undoubtedly 9-3
up, instead of 6-3.
County Down ten seconds.
One minutes to go until half-time.
-- count me down. Johnny Sexton puts
Ireland 9-3 ahead.
There is a lot of dampness in the
air. The rain falls. Dan Leavy.
Wenceslas Lauret. Belleau. Will it
go the ten metres? Ireland played it
anyway. That's a good league by
Leavy. -- a good leap.
The last minute, Conor Murray keeps
aerial game going. A test for Palis.
Good pressure from Keith Earls.
Belleau, the replacement.
Iturria with the drive. Palis says,
I think we'd better go and have a
chat in the changing room, see what
we can do to swing this game our
way. Ireland lead in Paris by 9-3.
Incomplete performance from Ireland,
they will be concerned they haven't
got enough momentum, yet they have
looked comfortable in defence, and
I'd expect a huge improvement in the
STUDIO: Around this point, we
normally show you a key moment of
the half, but we couldn't think of
anything that would grace the screen
and believe that key moment. I guess
these that tell a certain amount of
the story, a low scoreline just
through penalties, and so far
Ireland have taken advantage of
those kickable penalties.
Possession, Ireland, 69%, and they
haven't found many gaps. Potentially
quite a good French defence, that
would say. Thoughts on the first
half, Philippe, from a French
perspective? Improvement in terms of
defence and not making silly stakes?
Yes, it's a tough and physical game.
I feel that the French team are good
in defence, but they tackle a lot,
110 tackles. I thought we had the
same problem, we are not very good
on drives, too many mistakes, and
around the line-out we lost so many
The opening salvo suggested
Ireland would play expensively and
there was excitement, in conditions
like this, but France have snuffed
that out effectively.
75 and 30 and so is territory in
Ireland's favour, so France have
under pressure but defended well. I
think they have managed to keep
numbers out of their defensive
rucks, but the way that Ireland
started, Jerry and I were confident
for Ireland, but France have snuffed
them out. They have had some big
modes and -- the moment to moment
At the kick-off, France
get it, and you think, we are going
to tear this up. And then you think,
actually, no. We get here, a pretty
good shape, and Camara needs to go
inwards, dust to keep possession,
get yourself into the game early.
But a schoolboy error, running
straight into touch. From the
line-out, this is the way Ireland
have been practising, the way the
scrum has got them going, and they
know the way France are going to
defend, so they look at that space
and attack it. It's precise,
position rugby, well executed, and
at this stage, they got well over
the gain line, look how upset they
are, ready to go again. They are
calling the tune and they know the
space will probably be out wide, and
as slow as the ball is, they are
still in an attacking shape. Look at
these paid out wide. If they were
more they could make inroads there
and opened it up. -- look at the
space out wide. As it happens,
nothing much brilliant, they got a
penalty to go back, and Sexton
knocked over the three points.
France wised up quickly to the way
Ireland were playing and, if
anything, the momentum was changing
throughout the match. Let's focus
first, because he didn't last long
and we gave him a big time in the
field -- the build-up, Matthieu
Jalibert, that lack of experience
showed out there in that 29 minutes.
Exactly, it's tough, but also the
conditions are very difficult. First
ball on the eyeball, very important
to catch it, he drops the ball, the
Irish go for 60, 70 metres. This is
a piece of experience in a small
kick, a bit too long, and gives it
to the Irish team. I think he will
learn a lot about this.
learn a lot about this.
experience inside of Machenaud,
Chavancy on the outside, not many
We keep the ball in the face,
but we don't do the right thing to
move, and we used too many guys in
the ruck, and the Irish team are
organising in defence. They are more
in defence than in attack, so it's
difficult for a young fly half. It's
a shame he's injured after that 30
30% possession, mainly in
your own half, so probably not the
type of game for him.
Let's look at
the French attack, which you could
describe as fairly blunt, because it
barely came to much. Perhaps you
have explained in a way why that is,
too many men committed to the
breakdown, and it's too laboured
It's not a quick ball,
it's very slow. We don't arrive to
go for out. Good presentation of the
ball. We don't stay on the pitch,
the window... When you have the
French team is starting to go
forward, we need to stay on the
You can see the difference in
a side that's been together and been
coached by the same guy for a long
time for the smart rugby players at
half-back controlling the game. You
look at the French side and you
think, you have only been together
for a few weeks. In no real
commanders. They haven't had
possession and territory but at some
stage you have to make your mark on
the game. They are looking around
and there isn't that player in the
French side that has gone, right,
follow me, lads.
We organise in
defence. They were quite good
contest. We won some turnovers.
Ireland are normally well after the
ball, but the conditions... It's a
big advantage for us, because I
think it's a bit slippery, and it's
difficult for the Irish to play
Let's look at the
kicking game, normally a potent
weapon for Ireland, but it hasn't
come off as often as normally.
Percentages haven't been working.
think they have been doing a bit
more. This came after Jalibert's
pour kick ahead. This is the kind of
pressure that Ireland normally put
on teams. They have a good defensive
line-out. Gourdon the back,
following this kick. Big pressure,
fantastic, and Luke Fitzgerald
mentioned it, fantastic kick from
Conor Murray, and it takes the
pressure off the Irish. They
probably kicked loosely once or
twice. The chase has been excellent.
It's something they practice, Irish
teams, chasing and catching with the
As good as the French
defence has been, you get the sense
that it will crack at some stage,
because they are not renowned for
their fitness, it's a new side. Look
at the possession, the territory,
with only three penalties...
much more powerful bench.
it's building and building to get
that airtight bubble of keeping the
ball and controlling the game. There
was a slight difference at the end
of that first half.
I agree, and I
know Jacques Brunel, and he'd say,
guys, just six points behind, we
scored a try, we took the lead on
interception. The key for the French
side is that the Irish don't score
twice more. We need to play more and
then it can be a point.
Was a good
signs for France for 30 minutes, a
turnover, big moments and a penalty.
You felt the momentum switch.
Ireland attacking the French line
vet, hoping for three points, maybe
a try themselves. France got the
turnover, straight after that,
Gourdon gets the ball. They kicked
this to rob Kearney, and a good
chase, and Guirado, the French
hooker has been excellent. Guilhem
Guirado, the blue number two, gets
on the ball. Three points. That's
what you have to do in international
rugby to get scores, you accumulate
moment after moment that put them
together, you can get three, five,
seven points. Something we
highlighted earlier. Unfortunately,
they gave it back and not long after
with a clumsy penalty from
Exchanged quickly. One
said it looked like a couple more
phases and you could restore a try.
Moments of brilliance. Gourdon
ripping the ball, one tackle, again,
a jackal, three points, or in 20
Perhaps it's a lack of
experience that France need more of
an injection of.
an injection of.
The fresh co,
Guirado, has been fantastic, he is
very fit. He is in very good shape,
very fit player. He has had some big
We didn't see any tries in
the first half, and we are here,
making history, with the joint
lowest scoring half between Ireland
and France in the nation 's history,
so tell that to your grandchildren!
However, plenty of tries and drama
and action in the first match of
this year's Six Nations at the
Principality Stadium, so let's look
at the match between Wales and
Jonny Gray into play scrum-half,
using the referee as a decoy run
out. And Price at scrum-half. Can
anybody catch the scrum-half? Davies
for the corner. A try for Wales?
Wales punching forward again. Now
there's a gap out wide. Leigh
Halfpenny, and he is in! Two tries
in 12 minutes for Wales! What a
start for the home side. Now Rhys
Patchell going himself, not quite
there yet. Wales with a couple of
metres advantage, penalty coming,
try coming. Two tries. Well and
truly over for Leigh Halfpenny, and
Wales are roaring towards victory.
Another chance for Wales to go
hunting for try number four, and
Aaron Shingler taken down by Grant
Gilchrist, and on through the house
of Watkin onto Hadleigh Parkes, and
he steps in! There it is for Wales.
They have try number four. They Sale
past 30 points.
Ryan Wilson now. Peter Horne through
the middle and he is in for the try.
Scotland have something from this
match. What a start for Wales.
They are up and running. Incredible
start to the campaign for Wales. No
one saw that scoreline coming. But
this is the most unpredictable and
wide open Six Nations in many a
year. The women got off to their
start last night with Wales women
beating Scotland in Colwyn Bay for
that you can catch up with all the
action from the opening weekend in
# Welcome to your life
# There's no turning back
# Even while we sleep
# We will find you
# Acting on your best
# Turn your back on mother nature
# Everybody wants to rule the world.
That is tomorrow night and on the
iPlayer. Before that live commentary
on the England beat Italy game and
highlights of Rugby special tomorrow
evening. And the Rugby union weekly
podcast is out on Monday night.
Plenty to talk about.
We are off.
No problem for Johnny
Ireland's double their lead.
The kick is good.
Ireland 9-3 ahead. Well a tale of
penalties in the first half. We hope
for something a bit more exciting in
the second. But plenty of excitement
certainly in Cardiff. That Welsh
performance, a Scarlets performance
in many ways. I will turn a wind for
Wales. -- a real turnaround.
they have had injury and ten
Scarlets players in the side. It was
brilliant to see, fantastic to
watch. But unfortunately for
Scotland, they did not change. They
do not have the precision of the
Welsh and that showed. They could
not direct the game. Wales worked
incredibly hard. Brilliant to watch.
A good bit of Scarlets in the pro 14
this year. You just cannot turn the
ball over and give them half a
chance, the Welsh. There are similar
to New Zealand, incredible at
finishing off a line break. I do not
think anyone expected that result
today. Certainly not Scotland and
probably not Wales either.
Scotland we saw playing against
Australia and New Zealand, scoring
record amounts of tries last year at
Murrayfield, they will be
disappointed. But on whether the
action here and heading into the
second half. It is Ireland 9-3 and
certainly we hope Ireland and France
as well, that someone finds some
gaps to get themselves over the
white line. Your commentary team,
Luke Fitzgerald, Brian Moore and
Bellows still on the field. Looks as
if Jalibert, his debut did not last
for long. Machenaud waiting. Ireland
to kick off in this second half.
Johnny Sexton has not had to move
out of third gear. Ireland have been
very contained and full of calm
I would be interested to
ask what might have been said at
We are off, Johnny Sexton
sending a low scuttle towards
Machenaud. What are the team talks
like a tough time?
Usually very calm
and concise, the days of roaring are
probably gone. People just want to
get technical information. In a game
that is very tight. And he is
normally very good at that.
Best throws and finds CJ Stander.
Aki helping it on its way. The Irish
replacement Dan Leavy on for Van der
Flier. Dan Leavy again. The strength
of the back row. Here is CJ Stander.
And the second row, Iain Henderson.
Henshaw out to Rob Kearney.
Henshaw out to Rob Kearney. James
Ryan who was a major ball-carrier in
the first half. Johnny Sexton. Aki.
Conor Murray switches it. Furlong.
That has gone forward.
That has gone forward.
not too happy. A few of his
team-mates would say he's never
happy on the pitch to be honest. But
that was a good opportunity in a
game where they have been few and
far between. Ireland seemed to not
give France too much time to go up
the middle. Interesting to see if
they will continue to pursue that.
Well you mentioned the first threat
that we have really seen from Conor
Murray. He needs to do it a bit more
to make sure that defenders cannot
drift off. So they're not cluttering
out the midfield.
That is the
halfway line. Spending a lot of time
in this game between the ten metre
line. Pressure from Ireland on the
French scrummage. Belleau on the
front foot. Vakatawa. Henshaw now.
Machenaud. Tackled by Peter Armani.
Lamerat delivers for Machenaud.
Vahaamahina again. Gourdon. CJ
Stander with the tackle.
Iturria, the second row.
Iturria, the second row. Ireland
have turned the ball over.
have turned the ball over. And
Poirot is offside.
That might have been smart play in
hindsight. Again a lot of penalties
starting to build up against France.
Coming from Poirot!
Not right in
front of Nigel Owens! Good position
now for Ireland. Nigel Owens having
a word with Poirot. There is the
turnover. Iain Henderson involved.
Interesting position to attack from.
You do not often have to defend a
kick. You can often use your
Good take by James Ryan.
Good counter drive from France. Just
now the question of spot the ball.
Ireland scrambling it back on their
way. Sexton has a go on his own.
Conor Murray. Henderson. Good drive
by the second row. France offside.
Two of them.
Two of them.
Managed to get away from the initial
contact but then loitered in and
around. For all the French forwards
did, it was a tremendous counter
drive. Given away by a moment of ill
Good skills by James
Ryan. And here is the other second
A couple of dynamic
players. Henderson just seems to
slip ahead of a lot of tackles, you
see that all the time for Ulster. A
big talisman for them. I think he
will be a big talisman and a big
part of this Irish team going into
the World Cup.
Johnny Sexton, took his time. Just
to make sure. Ireland now leading
You can see with the
conditions, not readily apparent.
But it is very greasy up there and
difficult to handle. Johnny Sexton
can be relied upon to kick those
easy goals. He did not miss one last
year in the entire Six Nations.
penalties to one. Conor Murray very
deliberate as always. Rob Kearney so
good. Catching those high balls.
Pure concentration as he delivers.
Cian Healy Drive setup. -- drives it
up. Illegal again, he should get a
warning. The read they will show
he's clearly offside. -- the replay.
Clear as the nose on your face.
Really poor from Vahaamahina. He
really needs to sort that out
because he is putting pressure on
this French team.
You have a lot of
penalties now. You were never back
onside when you play them all. You
were never behind in the first
These are the ones of the coaches
hate. You are under pressure. These
are the sort of things when you talk
about discipline, not about punching
people but doing silly things like
that when you know you're never
behind the back foot. I would like
to see Ireland catch this and drive
it. Put pressure on.
Conor Murray, from the set piece.
Henshaw, Belleau at pace into the
French 22. He came in and was sent
back again, Rory Best. Cian Healy.
Restarts the operation of being in
the French 22. Bundee Aki. Still
Back again. Jacob Stockdale on the
Dan Leavy. He always manages to get
that extra half a yard. Sexton, the
inside ball to CJ Stander.
Still quite narrow, they haven't got
any width. I have now. Key players
spreading out to the touchlines.
Meanwhile, the captain, Rory Best.
Conor Murray has another little look
himself. The tackle is good by
Cian Healy. Pics, and doesn't go
very far. Vakatawa is buried in the
ruck. Tadhg Furlong, outside Conor
Murray. Iain Henderson has to get
his legs out of the way first. Here
is Furlong. Great strength by the
prop. Wonderful play by Jefferson
Poirot. Support from Stockdale, but
Stockdale has support from Robbie
Henshaw. Good interplay, Keith Earls
back involved. Stockdale runs it out
of play, but suddenly the game is
going and protect end and suddenly
we have pace. Gourdon delivers, but
there is a new frenzy out there, and
the crowd come to life as well.
Lauret. Palis, the full-back.
Vahaamahina, with ball in hand
Machenaud, the change of tactic.
Stockdale does very well. Good
catch, and avoided the dangerous
pass. Palis is down, needs to get
out of there. He's hurt.
Tadhg Furlong drives it a little
further away from the 22. Leavy.
A disappointing passage from an
Irish perspective. Some excellent
rich defence, and a great kick from
Machenaud, two lovely kicks but
Ireland under pressure. We saw Palis
trying to put one up on Johnny
Sexton, which I'm sure Johnny will
not thank him for, but excellent
French defence and poor from an
Irish perspective. I feel like Conor
Murray was looking for somebody to
chase his kick. Rob Kearney had got
into position, he probably should
have gone one phase earlier, but
excellent defence from France.
Ireland getting back all right, but
giving a way a rare penalty. Maxime
Looks good. France 6, Ireland 12.
Still all penalties.
Do you sense a little breakdown in
rigid structures, Brian?
want to overstate this, but we can
probably see on the cameras when you
are watching -- what you can't see
is that the rain is coming down
quite heavily, and I feel we have to
give some credit to the players,
because it's difficult to handle in
this sort of weather.
A very fine
drizzle here in Saint-Denis, just
north of Paris.
Machenaud. Happy to put it out of
I think, if it's going to be a game
dictated by the conditions, the
half-backs for Ireland have more
control and experience and are
likely to win that sort of battle.
Interesting setup for Ireland, with
Dan Leavy standing outside rob
Kearney at full-back and CJ Stander
standing outside Johnny Sexton. I
wonder if Joe Schmidt, ending up in
a white pattern, I would be
surprised if that stayed with CJ
Stander in the middle, but it looks
like that is what they are trying to
A change of props for
France, Danny Priso coming on. And
Cedate Gomes Sa. Rory Best. He is
always a model of calm. Finding
Peter O'Mahoney. Dan Leavy gets the
pass way, a good little off-load to
Carbery. Ireland have with this way.
Sexton, Stockdale. Sexton has a
little show and go past the 22. Iain
Henderson approaches it, can't quite
make it. Cian Healy. Footwork from
the prop. Stockdale, who is off his
wing. Keith Earls is still very much
on his, as CJ Stander again
approaches the 22. Rory Best. He
can't get to it.
can't get to it. Healy.
Sexton to Henshaw. It's broken down.
Turnover possession, Iturria, the
second row, picking it up and
Gomes Sa, his first charge. Slow
ball for Machenaud.
Rob Kearney, who is normally so good
on the highball, drops one. A
Rob Kearney is
usually incredibly accurate under
the highball, and we've seen a few
examples today. 18 need somebody
like him to get the momentum high
kicks, get back into the game. -- a
team need somebody like him for the
wave after wave against this very
sharp French defence, and there
hasn't been much creativity. That
might be governed by the weather,
which is poor. I'm surprised they
haven't tried many crossfield kicks
or a real ones to put balls up for
people like Jacob Stockdale.
Irish perspective, when you saw the
two or three moves that were set off
that lie out, and the way they could
get the runners at different angles,
even the dummy runners, they made
significant ground, but when the
first to what we have been set when
you are off-the-cuff, it's breaking
down and reverting to type, going in
one on one, and they need to get
more options when they are out of
the set plays and the players do it
Yes, and the target as
well... They haven't kicked in an
attacking sense. I can run on the
one that Johnny Sexton won early in
the game and, if I was a winger
against that, you can hedge and you
don't have to defend Hicks, because
expect them. Just change it up
slightly, give France an opportunity
to have indecision in their
It's a collapsed scrum against the
background noise of La Marseillaise
at full volume. We are a bit bogged
No, I can't check it on TV.
No, you can't, and you don't ask
either, thank you.
either, thank you. You come this
side, I'm going to go this side, OK?
Wayne Barnes has moved into position
and touch judge, to look down the
You can see a division of
labour. Paul Williams has moved to
the sideline now.
In it goes from
Machenaud. Gourdon gets it away, but
it's very scrappy possession.
Guirado, 24 tackles, the hooker
housemaid. -- has made. CJ Stander,
over the ball, and these are the
many triumphs in a tight game that
Also a mini
triumph for the Irish scrum, very
clever in slowly putting France
under pressure. The width means that
you Paul, Trevor Rees always catch
that, it's obvious. It still ruins
your position. -- -- that means that
you pull, and referees always catch
A change on the Irish side,
Jack McGrath coming on.
first time in a while, Ireland have
decent field position.
A quick word
from Paul O'Connell in the studio.
With the conditions, it would be
great to see Ireland driving a bit
more, and offered a short line-out
as well, whereby France have to be
very disciplined. I think Ireland
have used it effectively in the
past, and they are doing it here
now, a six plus one line-out and a
drive, though hopefully some of
this. Good defence by France.
France did well to sack that
Good catch by Peter
O'Mahoney. Now Ireland are inside
that area of maximum pressure, the
22. Carbery looks up and find
Sexton. Robbie Henshaw. Tadhg
Furlong. Now Sexton goes in. He's
out of... Oh, penalty advantage to
Ireland. They've stolen it through
Danny Priso. But a penalty against
First offence, two blue.
think Jacques Brunel and his staff
will be disappointed. Needless. It's
not necessarily a bad thing to be
stuck down there if you have lots of
numbers ready to defend, was if you
get a turnover the other team is
exposed, and Machenaud is exposed a
few times. They need to not panic,
and they are in their 22 defending,
Guirado princess had up to
say, there is a man lying on top of
me. -- Iturria puts his hand up. If
you give an opposition player a
chance to hold you in, which they
will do, I'm afraid you will pay the
Good point, think that's
something the referees have got
sharper on. Lots of people often
times in that scenario, they talk as
if they can't get out of there, but
more often than not it's as if
they've got themselves in a bad
position and they know what they are
doing in the tackle area prior to
going to the deck.
You can't see it,
but the rain is falling again at the
Stade de France.
Johnny Sexton, his fifth penalty. He
has landed all four of them so far.
The crowd not as quiet as for the
A little bit of a fade on it.
Bringing it between the posts. The
kick is good. Oh, no. Faded away.
The score remains 6-12.
France within a converted try still
of taking the lead.
Peter O'Mahony tackled by Gourdon.
Back to Henshaw. Forward pass.
There is Lauret. Just wondering who
Gabrillagues has come on for.
Sometimes you get games that just do
not flow, the condition is not
right, errors and penalties. In
these games you have to be precise
in discipline. That is what we'll
give it away, a slip, an unintended
consequence. Just grinding these
games out. Especially as it is the
first, Ireland need to grind this
out and make sure they go away with
the win no matter how it is
I'm a bit surprise so far
that Ireland have not just picked it
up. That first past easier to
defend. I think Ireland need a lot
more attacking kicks.
more attacking kicks.
Held up a bit
in the heart of the scrum. Gourdon
will pick up. Feeding straight
through Belleau. Strong runner,
Vakatawa, charging into the 22.
Machenaud ordering more forwards.
That did not really help. Gomes Sa
from a standing start.
from a standing start. It has ground
a bit to a halt, began with good
momentum. Free zone trying to inject
some more momentum. Lauret sent
back. Lamerat. And guess who it is,
Excellent bit of
defence from Johnny Sexton. Such a
good part of his game and a great
thing to have in your team. Number
Ten is well able to wrestle with the
Centre. Great recognition from
Henderson that he had Lamerat in an
I make that double
the penalties that France have
conceded over Ireland. At least four
of those have been from the second
row, Vahaamahina. That is what this
man can do if you give him the room.
But you've got to cut out the ill
Henshaw and Sexton over the ball
carrying hand. Then all you need is
some more guys to get in behind and
then you are in trouble. Going in
against more numbers in a high
Tauleigne coming onto the
field. His first cap for France.
Conor Murray collared. Rory Best,
getting his head down to make the
yard. Sexton, has it gone far
Keith earls cannot catch on.
Vakatawa cannot hang onto the ball.
High tackle. Keith earls.
High tackle. Keith earls. High
tackle by Keith earls on Vakatawa.
Penalty to France. Peter O'Mahony
back on his feet.
Dan Leavy has had
a huge impact on the game so far
with some brilliant carries. That
was an massive tackle against
Gerada. He has had a massive impact.
And back home in Ireland there was a
bit of surprise given his
performance so far this year that he
was not included but he is proving a
France will have this possession
just outside the Irish 22. Here is
Ireland have not looked like
conceding a try but anything going
On comes Toner.
Gabrillagues winning the line-out.
The shaven head of Devin Toner.
Furlong did well.
The new scrum-half, Dupont. Here he
is. Centre who has been on from the
start. Chavancy. Hardly seen much of
Vakatawa just about delivers.
It is a tame ending.
defence from Ireland. Starting on
the 22 and they drove them back.
They have done a really good
defensive job. They're doubling up
on all the tackles. Two guys on one
French carrier. Driving them all the
Johnny Sexton goes long into
the drizzle. Dupont to Belleau and
back up into the drizzle it goes.
Johnny Sexton starts a counter
attack. Rob Kearney safely back on
his feet. Limping a little bit.
Jacob Stockdale. Knocked on.
That is unusual, you see that quite
a lot in the game with a guy almost
running beyond where the ball is
landing into the guy receiving the
ball in this case Rob Kearney. Very
unusual for me and I think
definitely a penalty. Hit by the
opposing player before he's even got
into the air. Maybe I'm a bit
passionate about that as a former
back three player but it is an
Nigel Owens going
to have a look at it.
I'm not sure, I do not think there's
in that the challenging players are
not in the air.
If the contact
happens before were the ball is
landing, quite an unusual scenario.
No malice in that. Just a bit of
over exuberance chasing the kick. I
think that should be a penalty, to
I have checked and
nothing wrong with that, just a
You will have to agree to
France will have the scrum. On the
ten metre line.
Furlong is going off. John Ryan
Devin Toner standing quite literally
head and shoulders above everybody.
The Irish have applied a good bit of
pressure in the scrummage.
cannot get cleared to Gourdon. So he
cannot get quick ball. And if the
opposition cannot get momentum then
you get that kind of a mess
occurring. The ball not swept back.
It just land in the middle of the
second row. He is allowed to reach
forward and pick it up.
A very laboured movement. Good
pressure again from Ireland.
pressure again from Ireland. Towards
Vakatawa and he takes it. Excellent
tackle from Johnny Sexton. He is OK.
France with a little more energy.
Dupont the new scrum-half. Belleau
who has now been on for a long time.
Again a very tame end to the attack.
Rob Kearney high into the night sky.
France take it quickly. Dupont. In
the clear. Thomas is going to score
for France! They could take the lead
if the conversion is good.
Ireland might be nervous.
Ireland might be nervous. One man up
for the quick throw in.
for the quick throw in. The French
took the chance and it paid off for
them. Wonderful from Thomas. A lot
of work to do.
of work to do.
An incredible finish
from Thomas from 60 metres out.
Lovely recognition of the
opportunity down the short side. I
think Conor Murray made a mistake
trying to make that tackle.
Overextending against good athletes,
you need to make sure you connect
and not defend on your own. He took
a chance to try and put pressure on
France but they have taken full
advantage of what for me was a
mistake. And an incredible finish.
This is to put France in the lead.
Or change here in Paris. France go
into the lead against Ireland,
13-12. Teddy Thomas if the man who's
turned the game around.
Johnny Sexton, restarting. Gourdon
rises high, catches well.
Six and a bit minutes to go. Yacouba
Camara sets up the ruck. Behind
Google is -- behind Dupont is Palis.
Nigel Owens checked. Keith Earls
can't believe it. A quick word from
pole in the studio.
this for the last ten minutes, he
said it's going to be like two years
ago. Ireland have had all of the
possession, winning the penalty
count, but they haven't capitalised
and a 6-point gap isn't enough.
France always dangerous, always
capable of scoring a try. Now the
crowd believes, the French players
believe, and Ireland have to chase
the game in bad conditions.
a half minutes to go, France with
this attacking scrummage. A change
on the Irish side. Jacob Stockdale
is off. Fergus McFadden is on.
France will be very happy to spend
the next five minutes right here,
eating up the seconds.
period now for Ireland. They need to
calm down, they've got six or seven
minutes on the clock to get it back
down to their end of the pitch. This
game is still in the balance of they
need Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray,
Peter O'Mahoney calming the game
down. Let's get our hands back on
the ball and get down the other end
of the pitch.
A change in the back
row for France, Kevin Gourdon is
off. Picking up the scraps. And this
is Marco Tauleigne, France with a
playground. -- a player down. And
Nigel Owens quite rightly stops
play. Head, HIA, head injury
assessment. And one Dupont, the
scrum-half, is the man down. Teddy
Thomas, the man who changed this
Hang on, he said it could
Is it his leg?
Is it his leg?
No, HIA it
is. Looked like a neat delivery.
had two of them in my career.
Hopefully it's just after jarring
his knee, or a lesser one on the
inside, hopefully for his sake it's
nothing too serious.
I don't think
he is moving
he is moving it like an ACL. He
would be in a lots more pain if it
Very similar against Munster in
2009 with a ACL but I plagued by
myself for 15 minutes and sometimes
you don't realise, strong legs. If
you get a lot of damage around it,
not that I'm a doctor by any
Play on until you know!
You're just being tough.
You're just being tough.
that's nothing too serious for a
very promising young player. I wish
you all the best for a speedy
I don't think he's covering back --
coming back, Nigel.
You must stop saying that
it's definitely an HIA. He can't
come on if it is. Is it HIA, that's
what I need to know. You're me it
Go back, please. I know you
are the captain.
are the captain. Say again?
a head injury, Maxime Machenaud can
come back on as a scrum-half. If
it's a knee injury only...
The official match doctor
is saying it's a HIA? Is that
Maxime Machenaud can
An official match doctor is
telling me it's a HIA. I have no
medic and I'm going with the
official match doctor, and we are
going to carry on with the game, OK?
It's a HIA. It's the match doctor's
call. It came from the touchline.
Back you go, please.
Well, you can
understand the incredulity of Johnny
Sexton, because of links onto one
Dupont with a head injury. --
because of links Dupont with a head
Maybe I might be a better
doctor than the medical officer! Who
It brings to mind what
happened here last year in the 100
minute game between France and
Wales, a big penalty. The
heavyweights scrummaging here.
Machenaud, did he take it quickly?
Nigel Owens is bringing them back.
tell you what, Ireland lost
concentration. A lot are concerned
about whether or not it was a HIA,
which is no concern of theirs,
really, and in doing that they lost
concentration of the scrum, allowed
the French to get underneath. John
Ryan couldn't get his right shoulder
France will pig for goal, and this
could be just about it, in terms of
time. -- France will pig for goal.
76 and a half minutes. There will be
time, but it's not...
isn't good enough, and neither is a
drop goal, that's the problem. Just
one scrum. Can scrummage as well as
you like and you get one wrong in
this position, it's a terrible
Anthony Belleau. This is to
extend the lead.
It slides wide. Another penalty
miss. Johnny Sexton missed one.
Belleau misses one. Ireland failing.
Brilliantly caught by Iain
Henderson. Ireland with just two and
a half minutes to turn the game
their way. Bundee Aki.
their way. Bundee Aki. That's a good
tackle on the centre. Sean Cronin,
an act hooker for Ireland. France
with a player down on the ten metre
line, Kevin Gourdon. Johnny Sexton
with a little half-break, but they
are still inside their own half.
are still inside their own half. Dan
Gourdon is still down, and the play,
after Sean Cronin's little group, is
going to come his way. Robbie
Henshaw. It's going the other way.
Just over a minute to go. Ireland
can't get in to the French half.
Conor Murray. To Leavy. France's
discipline, good so far.
discipline, good so far. Number
five, Sebastien Vahaamahina, has
given away a handful of penalties on
his own. He is staying well away
Boredom on the right
wing is limping. -- Gourdon.
Vahaamahina presents it again, but
they are still stuck in their own
half. Aki. Healy stayed close --
came close and couldn't really help.
A big target for Vahaamahina to hit
legitimately. Robbie Henshaw. The
closing seconds of the match.
Is there one more little twist to
this match? Ireland up to halfway.
We are into overtime. Iain
Aki. France's defending has been
excellent. Ireland still in
Sexton, he risks the pig. Keith
Earls rises high. -- Sexton, he
risks the kick. Ireland now deep
into the French half. John Ryan. Ten
more yards. Sexton is down. The drop
kick expert is down on the ground.
Back on his feet now. But still a
long way out for the drop goal.
Guilhem Guirado, the French captain,
looks on from a far, with Devin
Toner up beyond the ten metre line.
Peter O'Mahoney. At what point do
Ireland risk the kick? It's a long
way out. They have to get closer
than this. France's defence
excellent. Danny Priso, aged 17.
Heavyweight tackling, Gomes Sa.
Bundee Aki. France's defence still
keeping Ireland at the halfway line.
Fergus McFadden, wearing 23,
involved. Another replacement, Dan
Leavy. Peter O'Mahoney going back up
to the ten metre line. Look at the
phases, 36 of them. Sexton. Infield,
or inside to Henderson.
Creeping closer to the point at
which a drop goal becomes possible.
Sexton waits, here it comes. It
looks good. He likes it. Nigel
Owens's arm goes up. And Ireland
have stolen the game, right at the
death. And the players tear back
into their own 22, and Guilhem
Guirado, look at that place, look at
that body! France put themselves in
a winning position, only for Ireland
to steal it with the last kick of
the game. Johnny Sexton's drop goal.
The final score, France 13, Ireland
Welcomer sport is rarely fair,
but one moment of brilliance came
from a French try. In terms of
kicking excellence and coolness
under pressure, that is also an
I thought those
last 40 or 50 phases were littered
with high-quality moments from
Johnny Sexton, all started from a
running drop goal into Devin Toner's
hands, to get a move started, and
finished with another drop goal.
He's got and finishes his kicking
training with it and I'm not
surprised to see him deliver on the
Jacques Brunel, back with
the French national team, opened his
new career with a loss. Oh, what a
finish! One try scored by Teddy
Thomas, a flash of brilliance by the
French win, but Ireland kept their
composure, patience and discipline
and built themselves that position,
and Johnny Sexton, in the sea of
blue shirts, is the player that has
broken French hearts.
advantage of what for me was a
mistake. And an incredible finish.
An exhilarating finish to a game
which at times really was for the
fan of the game. The second half
showed France coming back into this
and giving their fans hope and
excitement. But Ireland in the end
with their patients and steadiness
getting Johnny Sexton into that and
then you cannot underestimate the
skill of a drop goal.
moment, we thought they had gone
into drop goal rugby a bit too
early. And giving Johnny Sexton a
bit too much to do. But it was
incredible. But the longer the game
went on, the more Ireland were
taking their opportunities, it
looked like it was going to be a
Who could have
predicted that finish. Let's just
have a word with Rob Kearney.
Sexton just walking behind you
shaking his head. He cannot believe
it, can you?
It is quite incredible.
We probably got out of jail a bit.
But to build that amount of phases
in terrible conditions. And then
Johnny at the end, incredible. You
watched it go through the post? I
thought it was a little bit short.
Then he ran off celebrating,
unbelievably special. What does it
say about the measure of the man.
Massive from him. He puts a huge
amount of work in. He would have
been feeling bad about missing that
penalty but the sign of a real
champion to go again.
ardent in that position because it
was your game to win.
Well we kicked
the ball out and switched off. I got
caught down the short site with a
few of the other boys and that is
how dangerous they are. They scored
that one try and we got out of jail.
How special is it to get a win here,
only the third time you have done
It is massive. They have had a
poor year by playing here they are a
superb side. We knew that there
would be a spike in their
performance with the new guys coming
But so proud to be part of this
Well done. Well a day for records.
The first time since 1964 that
France have lost their opening match
in consecutive Six Nations.
Disappointment for Jacques Brunel
not to start with a wind that looked
as if it was in the bag.
to Ireland with that fantastic
finish. To miss a penalty and before
points in front.
Johnny Sexton is
the man of the moment.
believe you have just done that? It
was one of those moments. Just happy
to get another chance. I just
snatched at it with the last moment,
something caught my eye and just
happy to get another chance for the
boys who worked so hard for the last
couple of weeks. It is just great to
be in the position we are in now.
Just tell me what you were thinking
as you just pulled the trigger?
be honest I went back to a couple of
years ago when we played in Treviso.
I was in the same position, almost
identical situation. Just flashed
back to that. I do not think we
could have gone another couple of
phases so we just got there in the
What does that say about the
team, going through 40 phases in the
end snatching it?
It says a lot
about the management, drilling as
every day and we have some good
characters in the team. We just
wanted to get off to a good start.
It looked like deja vu the same as
two years ago. They got a try out of
nothing and we went behind.
took that chance, thankfully.
Well done to you. They do not come
very often, victories here and
obviously that a win in 2014 lead to
a championship winning season. It
feels like the tide is with Ireland
now. And a world-class player like
Johnny Sexton in the squad. To see
that magic at the end. In a game
that I suppose would not have been
planned to pan out quite as it did.
We chatted earlier and an away win
is hard to come by. Even last
season, I think only one away win
and it came with a last-minute try
by Elliot Daly. They're hard to come
by here. That will do a lot for
Ireland and their self belief. I do
not think they played particularly
well. It was hard to play in the
conditions but that will be massive
for their self belief to have
persevered and come through with a
big moment that. As someone who has
dropped a goal in a high-pressure
situation, with the weather here,
you cannot see it but it is teeming
with rain. 45 metres out and he
struck it sweetly. It went the
distance. Sporting memories. I'm not
even playing out there but it sapped
everything out of me. Jumping for
joy and look at that reaction.
the Irish bench. Incredible. You
lost your emotional hoop with that
Thomas try. That gave you a thrill.
And that was it for France, they had
the bit between their teeth. When
Thomas went over you must've felt
that France had turned a corner in
terms of their recent performance.
Yes the defence was good, we carried
on for 80 minutes. Fantastic school.
You need fantastic players and
matchwinners. And Johnny Sexton
today, what he did was fantastic.
This is the moment of magic. Conor
Murray in an offside position but it
did not matter. And then Rob Kearney
asleep on the blindside. Thomas just
uses his skill and pace. Just to
slide through. Clearly Irish
He is quick and strong, a
I thought that
moment, that was the moment of magic
that the game was missing. I thought
it would be enough.
We had a drop
goal after that by Keith earls which
led to a scrum and then a penalty.
That was the chance for France to
put the game away.
When you look at
the statistics afterwards, the
possession, in one way Ireland
deserved to win. But a lot of credit
to this young French team.
learn a lot from that experience.
Those players who were debutants
today and a lack of experience on
the bench as well. Perhaps that came
into play. Because
into play. Because with the HIAs, a
couple of them appeared to have been
called when they wear a knee injury.
You did not see players going off
holding their hands. And you kind of
think if they're talking about that
as a HIA, it looks clear that it is
a knee injury. And that technical
Chat going on off the field, that is
not in the spirit of the game. We do
I will go with the
official match doctor.
official match doctor. HIA is the
There's nothing Nigel Owens
can do if the doctor tells them it
is a HIA.
There he is coming down
the tunnel and a little gesture
pointing to his head. Just make sure
the doctor is examining his head.
Hopefully he will come through that
HIA with flying colours. We will
have to see what happens afterwards
and whether Ireland has any
There was a
lot of talk about the values of the
game and players protesting and we
have to protect the values of the
game. So just disappointing to see
that. Two players going off with a
knee injury under HIA.
with the fixtures falling the way
they have for Ireland this season,
this was an away fixture, their
record in France has not been great.
And the record in the Six Nations
for Ireland had not been great
either. So to get that victory away
from home in your first fixture
coming in with a strong track
record. This will now be the team to
beat in the championship.
Schmidt will be telling his team to
focus on the next game. Three home
games on the bounce. They knew that
was coming so they can collect
themselves but it is about
developing and moving on. Joe
Schmidt has his side so well
drilled. I wonder whether magic
comes from in a tough situation. It
has come from their exceptionally
experienced guy, Johnny Sexton. It
was a miracle kick but for me I need
to do more than what they're doing
at the moment. Because they are
quite predictable. You have a good
defence and France had that, they
were superb today and they will
struggle. They just need to move on
with their attack.
They must beat
nine, 12 points in front, but close
to the line you need to be deep for
the drop goal. You're dominating 70%
of the game. And I agree with you.
It is a tough place to win in the
Stade de France and also in these
And with the new coach,
always that feeling in a squad to
want to impress the new coach.
Especially with the French debutants
today but alas not to be. Let's take
a look at the table. Just two
matches played. Wales leading the
way after their emphatic victory
over Scotland. 34-7 with a bonus
point as well. Ireland with four
points from that victory. France
with the one point there. And of
course England up against Italy
tomorrow. Final thoughts from you,
feeling a bit more positive about
Exactly, a lot of new
players. And keeping that
discipline, strong in the back area.
You understand why Johnny Sexton is
a world-class player.
In some ways
for Ireland better than playing
really well, to come through a test
like that. And to produce what they
did at the end of the game to win a
tight game is fantastic for their
confidence and self belief.
you so much. I'm afraid after that
match all that we can do is talk
about Johnny Sexton. Good night.
We are off at the Stade de France.
The kick is good.
Ireland 9-3 ahead.
Ireland lead 12-3. It is good.
Suddenly we have pace. Thomas is
going to score! Ireland have stolen
Gabby Logan hosts live Six Nations rugby as France take on Ireland at the Stade de France. The Irish are hoping for a better start than last year, when they lost their opening fixture 27-22 to Scotland at Murrayfield.
Studio guests include Paul O'Connell and Jeremy Guscott, while the commentary team consists of Eddie Butler and Brian Moore.