France clinched victory in Dublin thanks in main to the boot of Parra and despite scoring only one try to Ireland’s three. The Irish paid heavily for indiscipline as five penalties by Morgan Parra and one by his replacement Dimitri Yachvili proved to be the difference.
A first Test try by Fergus McFadden and a Tomas O’Leary touchdown helped Ireland to a 15-12 half-time lead. Winger Maxime Medard latched onto a Rougerie break for the French try with Jamie Heaslip’s score setting up an exciting finish. The Irish staged a late rally but it came to nothing and they were left to reflect on their error count. Overall, they conceded 16 penalties with nine awarded against the French. The French will need to be more committed to the cause at Twickenham in two weeks if they are to stay on course for the grand-slam.
Ireland 22-25 France
Tries: McFadden, O’Leary, Heaslip Cons: Sexton, O’Gara Pen: Sexton
Try: Medard Con: Yachvili Pens: Parra 5, Yachvili
Ireland: Fitzgerald; McFadden, B O’Driscoll, D’Arcy, Earls; Sexton, O’Leary; Healy, Best, Ross, O’Callaghan, O’Connell, O’Brien, D Wallace, Heaslip.
Replacements: O’Gara for Sexton (63), Reddan for O’Leary (70), Court for Healy (56), Cronin for Best (76), Cullen for O’Connell (80).
Not Used: Leamy, P Wallace.
France: Poitrenaud; Huget, Rougerie, Traille, Medard; Trinh-Duc, Parra; Domingo, Servat, Mas, Pierre, Nallet, Dusautoir, Bonnaire, Harinordoquy.
Replacements: Clerc for Poitrenaud (51), Jauzion for Traille (73), Yachvili for Parra (54), Marconnet for Domingo (50), Thion for Pierre (64), Chabal for Bonnaire (54).
Not Used: Guirado.
Ref: Dave Pearson (RFU).