Ireland vs France – Report – Six Nations Championship 2023 – 11 Feb, 2023 – ESPN
Ireland underscored their status as the world’s number one team by beating defending champions France 32-19 on Saturday in a fantastic Six Nations match that lived up to expectations with remarkable attempts and relentless quality.
It was the first time in the history of the Five and Six Nations that two of the best teams in the world went head-to-head, but Ireland looked better for most of the match, ending France’s 14-game unbeaten streak as well as ending a three-match away streak. Winning streak against Ireland.
Anyone who doubts that the Republic of Ireland claim to be the best team in the world after their series win in New Zealand last year will struggle to make an argument after yet another performance that showcased their perfect combination of attack speed and intensity. as well as absolute dedication. organized defense.
“It was a huge game and it was a fair assessment,” said Ireland coach Andy Farrell. “We can be incredibly proud of this. The fight we showed was amazing at times.
“The mood was great, we played well in the first half and probably should have scored a few more points. It’s not greed since we got a bonus point. France is a world class team that is very dangerous, but playing here we expect to go out, play and win.”
The Irish were first on the board with a deft attempt from defender Hugo Keenan, but the visitors hit back in classic French style. After a pass failed at their own 22, France looked in danger but pulled themselves together and charged forward in a spectacular counter-attack that ended with a goal by Damien Peno.
Ireland regained the lead thanks to an extraordinary finish by James Lowe. Knowing he was about to be grabbed by Peno, the winger dived up and down while reaching out with one arm to somehow squeeze the ball right inside the line.
French defender Wini Atonio was then off the hook and was somewhat lucky to avoid the red for the high shot, with Ireland immediately taking advantage as the flock forced prop Andrew Porter, who earned his 50th cap, out of line.
Ireland looked set for fourth with Mac Hansen close to the line, but scrum-half Antoine Dupont showed incredible strength to take him away.
This was typical of France’s dedicated defense and they kept the link with Thomas Ramos’ three penalties, although Johnny Sexton scored one to make it 22-16 after one of the tournament’s best 40 minutes in years.
A penalty to replace midfielder Ross Byrne and a Ramos goal made it 25-19 with 20 minutes left, but although France had more possession, they struggled to create scoring chances against a superbly trained Irish defence.
Ireland then pressed on again with a relentless series of attacks that ended after 19 phases when man of the match number eight Kalan Doris provided a brilliant offload for Harry Ringrose to move on to a bonus point-earning fourth run.
France coach Fabien Galtier said: “We were crushed at important moments. We were close for a long time, but we couldn’t close the gap and the Irish managed to keep us in their own half.
“We have to admit that the best team won and this game will give us the opportunity to analyze a lot and keep our ambitions going.”
Ireland expects to be in the top three when they visit Italy in two weeks, while France hosts Scotland.