Fourteen points in the space of five minutes at the end of the third quarter helped France to a35-17 victory in the RBS Six Nations opener in Paris today.
Fourteen points in the space of five minutes at the end of the third quarter helped France to a 35-17 victory in the RBS Six Nations opener in Paris today.
Ireland trailed 11-3 at half-time but an Anthony Foley try created and converted by Ronan O’Gara put Ireland right back into contention before Pascal Pape and Yannick Jauzion struck in quick succession to push the French into a comfortable lead.
To their credit Ireland clawed their way back and there was a try for Tyrone Howe but the French replied with a try under the posts from Jean-Baptiste Elissalde with Michalack tapping over the conversion.
Ireland took an early lead with a penalty from O’Gara (5th min) and although they enjoyed territorial dominance they were unable to capitalise. France equalised with a Michalack penalty after 27 minutes and went in front five minutes later when Vincent Clerc finished off a period of French pressure with a try in the right hand corner. Michalack was again on the mark in the 32nd minute with a well struck penalty to leave the home side in front by eight points (11-3) at the break.
France: Nicolas Brusque (Biarritz); Vincent Clerc (Toulouse), Yannick
(Toulouse), Damien Traille (Pau), Christophe Dominici (Stade
Frederic Michalak (Toulouse), Jean-Baptiste Elissalde (Toulouse);
Harinordoquy (Pau), Olivier Magne (Montferrand), Serge Betsen
Pascal Pape (Bourgoin), Fabien Pelous (Toulouse, capt, Pieter De
(Stade Francais), William Servat (Toulouse), Sylvain Marconnet (Stade
Replacements: Yannick Bru (Toulouse), Jean-Jacques Crenca (Agen),
Auradou (Stade Francais), Thomas Lievremont (Biarritz), Dimitri
(Biarritz), Brian Liebenberg (Stade Francais), Pepito Elhorga (Agen)
Girvan Dempsey (Leinster); Shane Horgan (Leinster), Gordon D’Arcy
(Leinster), Kevin Maggs (Bath/ENG), Tyrone Howe (Ulster); Ronan
(Munster), Peter Stringer (Munster); Anthony Foley (Munster), Keith
(Leinster), Simon Easterby (Llanelli/WAL); Paul O’Connell (Munster,
Malcolm O’Kelly (Leinster); John Hayes (Munster), Shane Byrne
Reggie Corrigan (Leinster)
Replacements: Frank Sheahan (Munster), Simon Best (Ulster),
O’Callaghan (Munster) Victor Costello (Leinster), Guy Easterby
(Rotherham/ENG), David Humphreys (Ulster), Anthony Horgan (Munster)
Referee: Chris White (ENG)