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  1. France fight back to draw with Ireland

    France fight back to draw with Ireland

    France clawed their way back to share a 17-17 draw with Ireland in their Six Nations clash in Paris. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:80'
    • France
    • Ireland
    • - Magnificent defence from Ireland at the end there, a very fair result considering the efforts of both teams - but France will be horrified at having lost out on a chance to win a Grand Slam, while Ireland will also think they should have earned the win.
    • 80'+3 Malziue forced into touch, and the whistle goes! It's a draw in Paris.
    • 80'+2 France win the ball, get the overlap and are charging for the line! Will Malzieu make it?
    • 80'+1 The scrum keeps collapsing, predictably, but surely the ref won't give a penalty in this situation... will he?
    • 80' Ireland turn the ball over with a hideous knock-on! Scrum to France, 45m out, and the clock is in the red...
    • 79' Ireland win a penalty! Maestri hanging onto the ball in the tackle, and O'Gara clears to half-way where it's an Ireland throw.
    • 79' Tense stuff, two minutes left, and the defence is simply magnificent.
    • 78' France still trying to either wnia penalty through pressure, or get a drop goal position. Ireland staying firm though, even as France maul up into the 22m.
    • 77' France start making ground, and Beauxis has another go at a drop goal - but it's charged down!
    • 76' France camped on the 22m, Ireland doing everything to try and stop them inching forward...
    • 75' Will Ireland be punished for Best's moment of insanity? France win the ball but are being pushed back by the defence, still holding firm with five minutes left.
    • 74' Idiotic penalty given away by Ireland at the ruck: 'no hands' shouts the ref, immediately after which Best scoops the ball back with his hand. From a good position going forward, Ireland have now conceded a line-out in their own 22m.
    • 73' An Irish error trying to keep the ball in play gives France a line-out just outside the 22m, and Lionel Beauxis ends up having a go at a drop goal - it's a miserable one which looks more like a grubber kick.
    • 72' Sexton taken out off the ball but France get away with it and kick clear up field.
    • 71' O'Gara comes on at fly-half, Sexton stays on the pitch but moves to inside centre.
    • 70' Ireland still on the front foot as Trinh-Duc kicks for touch to the 10m line.
    • 69' France win the scrum and clear deep, but Kearney kicks back and collects it himself despite the attentions of Harinordoquy - fantastic stuff, Ireland then whip it out wide where Earls is eventually hauled into touch.
    • 69' Stephen Ferris earns wolfwhistles from the French women in the crowd as he has to change his ripped shirt!
    • 68' The men in green keep it rolling as Earls makes another surging run before being stopped - still deep in the 22m, but the ball keeps getting slower and slower and under pressure D'Arcy concedes a knock-on to end the opening.
    • 67' Ireland's throw just inside the 10m is a good once, and Trimble receives the ball - only to blindside the defence and cut through inside. Great work from Ireland...
    • 66' A lineout nightmare as Best's throw misses everybody and is collected by Trinh-Duc at the far end. The move is over and France clear the lines.
    • 65' This is a massive chance for Ireland... You feel they have to score now to have a chance to win.
    • 65' Fabulous work from Ireland isn't rewarded by a try but it's an Ireland throw as Clerc bundles the ball out in desperation just 6m out.
    • 64' Lovely run by Sexton gets Ireland to within 10m... now D'Arcy... now Best... Ireland keep probing.
    • 63' Keith Earls starts a run from half-way and somehow cuts through about five French tackles before being halted; Ireland are on the 22m and have a great attacking chance once more, what can they do with it this time?
    • 62' France roll towards the 22m still keeping the ball... but when it finally pops out it's pinched by Rory Best.
    • 61' France win the throw and turn it into a maul straight away.
    • 60' Ireland get back into it and put pressure on France, but are penalised for hands in the ruck and it'll be a France throw deep in the Irish half.
    • 59' No question of staying on the pitch for Murray; Eoin Reddan will come on to replace him.
    • 59' Conor Murray has hurt himself badly after landing awkwardly on his knee - this looks bad.
    • 58' It's a perfect penalty from Parra, long and straight through the middle to make it 17-17.
    • 56' France win a lineout as Trimble is chivvied into touch, and Healy is punished for hanging onto the man in the tackle. Penalty to France, 40m out and straight in front.
    • 55' Just feels like the cracks are starting to appear in the Irish performance now, while Les Bleus are starting to get their teeth into things more and more.
    • 54' The France defence charging at Ireland but they're keeping the ball brilliantly - right until Sexton kicks long for Kearney to chase, and accidentally puts the ball straight into touch.
    • 53' Parra's effort is pulled just wide, but France have it back to 17-14.
    • 52' Slightly bizarrely referee Dave Warren checks the try with the TMO, but there's no suggestion of anything wrong with it and Parra will have a chance to add the conversion from right on the touchline.
    • 51' TRY TO FRANCE! Lovely little run by Malzieu as he scythes through the centre of the pitch to get France on the front foot, and though he's eventually tackled the quick ball is popped up to Fofana to run in at the corner!
    • 51' France have been better in this half, but Ireland show no signs of taking their foot off the gas just yet.
    • 50' France's defence is pushing Ireland back, and Trimble loses the ball in the tackle to concede a scrum.
    • 49' Ireland regain the ball from the restart and are working foward once more, looking superb.
    • 48' Parra's shot at goal sneaks just inside the right-hand upright - just by a few inches, but they all count and it's 17-9.
    • 46' Penalty to France as Ireland are judged to have collapsed the maul intentionally following the lineout - Parra will have a chance to cut the deficit.
    • 45' Ireland win the scrum but D'Arcy gets into trouble trying to run out of his own 22m - he manages to fling the ball to Sexton to kick clear, but it's France ball in the lineout 30m out.
    • 44' The scrum collapses, France warned by the ref....
    • 44' Ireland aren't giving an inch - Trimble's fearsome tackle on Poitrenaud leaves the French full-back on the turf in agony - and it's a knock on that turns the ball over.
    • 43' France get a charge on in the scrum, then Parra picks it up and the attack is on - the ball is spun wide as the French look for gaps but defence holds firm for now.
    • 42' Clerc ends up getting forced out into touch as Ireland's defence picks up where it left off. The shaky Irish lineout also picks up where it left off as O'Connell knocks on to concede a scrum.
    • 41' Trinh-Duc gets the second half under way, and straight from the restart the French regain the ball. They have to throw the kitchen sink at their visitors in this second half.
    • - What a stunning first half for Ireland, thanks to two pieces of magnificent impudence from Tommy Bowe - and a cheeky illegal intervention from Ciaran Healy which stopped the French when a try looked odds-on. Ireland have been intense, clever and energetic, and are well worth their lead. But can they hang on to it?
    • 40' Straight from the restart the ref calls time up and Sexton pumps the ball into the stands to make it half-time.
    • 39' Sexton now pulls off Parra's trick: a kick which deflects over off one of the posts. Ireland 17-6 France! Amazing stuff in Paris.
    • 38' ANOTHER TRY FOR TOMMY BOWE AND IRELAND! Ireland spin the ball out, and with nothing seemingly on Bowe beats his man on the touchline. He then kicks ahead - beats the defenders again and gets a lucky bounce which helps him touch down 10m in from the corner.
    • 37' Fofana's run finally gets France past the gain line, but Ireland win a turnover almost immediately.
    • 36' France really on top now as they win a good scrum after the Ireland 22m gets up to half-way. The Irish defence stands firm, however, and the hosts are stuggling to advance.
    • 35' Ireland get off the hook as Parra hooks his kick at goal from 40m and out on the right. They've dodged a bullet on that one: one minute a try was in the offing, and Healy's indiscretion has not cost them a thing.
    • 34' The French switch back across the pitch where Cian Healy is massively offside and 'accidentally' bumps into the middle of the surging back line. Penalty - and he's lucky to stay on the pitch for that awful piece of gamesmanship.
    • 33' France win a quick penalty in the middle of the park and surge forward, Fofana and Dusautoir rampaging up the pitch.
    • 32' Ireland push the French back with great defence, and once more they turn it over as a France maul goes down. Scrum to the visitors right on half-way.
    • 31' From the restart Trinh-Duc collects the ball and kicks, getting lucky with the bounce which defies Trimble. France then win the line-out - they've upped their energy level a lot.
    • 30' Parra's kick looks like it'll fall short - but it clips the bar and falls over just the right side for the Frenchman. Doesn't get any closer than that! 10-6 to Ireland.
    • 28' The scrum from Bowe's failed interception is wheeled intentionally by the Irish, and Parra will have a crack at the posts from 45m and dead in front.
    • 27' Long restart from France deep into the Ireland 22m - Sexton kicks for touch and from the France throw-in Bowe comes within an inch of hanging onto another interception! So close to another try.
    • 26' Sexton slots the kick clean through this time, and it's 10-3. Perfect for Ireland, they have hit back straight after conceding their first three points of the match.
    • 25' Bonnaire gets away with murder in the lineout as he encroaches on O'Connell and challenges him in mid-air, but Ireland keep the ball and the momentum. And they're rewarded as the French give away a silly penalty for not rolling away after the tackle - straight in front, right on the 22m. Should be simple for Sexton.
    • 24' Mistake from Parra at the restart as he punts straight out - Irish throw just outside the French 22m.
    • 23' From well inside the 22m Parra makes no mistake, and it's 7-3.
    • 22' Ireland give away a penalty for offside - Bonnaire tackled from behind - as the French have them on the ropes, and as their drive fails they'll have a kick for three points.
    • 21' Lovely work from France - Trinh-Duc pulls out a beautiful offload to Harinordoquy, who cuts through the Irish defence before being cut down.
    • 20' Ireland knock on at last, and France win their scrum. They keep spinning it wide trying to make something happen, and are making ground now...
    • 19' France's penalty doesn't find touch and the Irish charge forward once more, again recycling the ball well as they move forward. Great stuff from Ireland.
    • 18' Ireland look to have pulled off a great turnover, but the referee claims that the Irish were coming off their feet piling into the ruck. The speed they came in at they could hardly have done otherwise.
    • 17' The French crowd have already started whistling, though the hosts have won the ball back in their own half now.
    • 16' Ireland moving forward again, just inside the French 10m and looking strong and patient.
    • 15' Sexton adds the extra points with ease. From the restart the French win the ball, but Bonnaire is penalised for coming round the side in a ruck and the Irish kick for touch.
    • 14' Shocking error by Trinh-Duc, whose long pass tried to cut too many people out of the line - it only ended up putting Rougerie under pressure, and his pass out wide was perfect for Bowe. What a start for the visitors!
    • 13' TRY TO IRELAND! It's Tommy Bowe, the easiest interception you'll ever see and he's in under the posts!
    • 12' France are pushed way back and end up kicking into the 22m - Kearney is there and calls for a mark, then kicks to the France 10m. Ireland soaking up everything thrown at them so far.
    • 11' Poor handling from France as they are pushed back by Ireland's defence in the 22m, with Clerc literally running backwards away from the line at one point.
    • 10' Ireland give away a penalty for handling in the ruck and Trinh-Duc kicks for a touch deep in the Ireland 22m.
    • 10' Ireland's tacklers have clearly identified the maul as a weakness for the French, trying to keep their opponents on their feet in the tackle all the time.
    • 9' Ireland are caught napping by a quick 22m drop out, but they again win the ball back quickly in a maul.
    • 8' Sexton pulls his effort well off to the left - it's a shaky one, let's hope he finds his range quickly.
    • 7' First scoring chance to Ireland, dead centre on the 10m line...
    • 6' Sexton kicks long, but Poitrenaud is there - but he hangs on in the tackle! Penalty Irealnd.
    • 5' The scrum takes nearly two minutes, but Ireland keep the ball. Surely time for the scrum rulebook to be totally rewritten, it's a farce these days.
    • 4' Ireland turn the ball over as a France maul collapses - the visitors get the ball back on their own 10m.
    • 3' France regain the ball as D'Arcy tries an ill-fated kick through that is returned with interest by Rougerie; from the breakdown Bonnaire ends up charging down the right wing to the Ireland 10m line.
    • 2' Straight from the restart France keep the ball and move up to half-way, but Trinh-Duc kicks it away senselessly to give Ireland an attacking chance.
    • 1' Jonny Sexton kicks off, and we're under way in Paris.
    • 14:58 Looks like the worries about getting the fans here for a rearranged match have not materialised: the Stade de France appears almost completely full.
    • 14:58 TEAMS: France - 15-Poitrenaud, 14-Clerc, 13-Rougerie, 12-Fofana, 11-Malzieu, 10-Trinh-Duc, 9-Parra, 8-Harinordoquy, 7-Bonnaire, 6-Dusautoir (captain), 5-Maestri, 4-Pape, 3-Mas, 2-Szarzewski, 1- Poux. /// Ireland - 15-Kearney, 14-Bowe, 13-Earls, 12-D'Arcy, 11-Trimble, 10-Sexton, 9-Murray, 8-Heaslip, 7-O'Brien, 6-Ferris, 5-O'Connell (captain), 4-O'Callaghan, 3-Ross, 2-Best, 1-Healy.
    • 14:55 Wales are riding high at the top of the Six Nations table, but France will almost certainly overtake them if they win today - unless they win by a single point while scoring 16 points or less. Six Nations table
    • 14:52 France, meanwhile, rode their luck to beat Scotland last week - yet was that a sign of shaky rugby, or simply a good side doing the minimum they need to do to get the win?
    • 14:50 It's 20 degrees (!) warmer in Paris today than it was a couple of weeks ago: no danger of a frozen pitch this time round.
    • 14:48 It's 12 years since Brian O'Driscoll's genius led the Irish to a win in Paris, but the Irish romp against Italy last weekend will have been a massive confidence boost for Declan Kidney's men.
    • 14:45 Good afternoon everybody - it's taken a few weeks, but we're finally back and ready to enjoy what should be one of the best matches of the Six Nations: France v Ireland in Paris.
    • - The match has been rescheduled for 3pm GMT on Sunday March 4. We'll have full LIVE coverage - see you then.
    • 20:00 Sorry about that, folks - what should have been some cracking Saturday night entertainment will now have to be deferred until who knows when. Eurosport-Yahoo! will keep you updated with the latest news about the postponement on our rugby news page.
    • 19:57 Apparently the touchlines are just too frozen, and the fear is that the rest of the pitch will get just as frozen during the match. Studs are not grabbing in the turf, and it's as simple as that...
    • 19:55 Strike that - the match is off!
    • 19:53 Still no definitive word on whether this game will go ahead...
    • 19:50 The touchlines are apparently still quite frozen - not good for touch judges, or line outs, but the worry is that plunging temperatures (it's approaching -10) could freeze the pitch during the actual match.
    • 19:47 Ireland team: 15-Rob Kearney, 14-Tommy Bowe, 13-Keith Earls, 12-Gordon D'Arcy, 11-Andrew Trimble, 10-Jonathan Sexton, 9-Conor Murray, 8-Jamie Heaslip, 7-Sean O'Brien, 6-Stephen Ferris, 5-Paul O'Connell (captain), 4-Donncha O'Callaghan, 3-Mike Ross, 2-Rory Best, 1-Cian Healey.
    • 19:47 France team: 15-Maxime Médard, 14-Vincent Clerc, 13-Aurelien Rougerie, 12-Wesley Fofana, 11-Julien Malzieu, 10-François Trinh-Duc, 9-Morgan Parra, 8-Louis Picamoles, 7-Imanol Harinordoquy, 6-Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5-Yoann Maestri, 4-Pascal Pape, 3-Nicolas Mas, 2-Dimitri Szarzewski, 1-Jean-Baptiste Poux.
    • 19:45 The groundstaff have got giant warm air blowers out and are trying to thaw out a few select bits of the pitch that are all frozen over.
    • 19:45 England are top of the Six Nations table - temporarily at any rate - after they somehow carved out a 19-15 win over Italy this afternoon.
    • 19:40 We heard an hour or so ago that the pitch had passed its inspection and the match would go ahead, but there is now a further inspection with some grim-faced officials looking worried... Fingers crossed the match can happen, but nobody wants it to go ahead if it is indeed frozen.
    • 19:35 Evening everyone - and welcome to our LIVE coverage of this Six Nations clash ina freezing Paris.
  • Summary

    France versus Ireland
    Fofana 51’ Tries Bowe 13’, 38’
      Conversions Sexton 14’, 39’
    Parra 23’, 30’, 47’, 58’ Penalties Sexton 27’
      Drops  

Live Team Line-Up

  • France

    Manager: Philippe Saint-André

    On the Field

    Subs

    • Servat Substitution In (53′)
    • Nallet Substitution In (61′)
    • Dupuy
    • Debaty Substitution In (53′)
    • Picamoles Substitution In (71′)
    • Beauxis Substitution In (68′)
    • Mermoz

    Injured

    None

    Suspended

    None

  • Ireland

    Manager: Declan Kidney

    On the Field

    Subs

    • O'Gara Substitution In (72′)
    • Reddan Substitution In (59′)
    • Ryan Substitution In (59′)
    • Court Substitution In (75′)
    • Cronin Substitution In (75′)
    • McFadden Substitution In (73′)
    • O'Mahony Substitution In (66′)

    Injured

    None

    Suspended

    None

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