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Forward Duo Frustrated By Scoreless Second Half

Forward Duo Frustrated By Scoreless Second Half

Emerging from the Ireland dressing room, Cian Healy said that the players were ‘pretty upset’ that they did failed to build on a half-time lead and secure their first win over France in Paris since 2000.

Cian Healy was in the thick of the action as the home side emptied their bench to try and rescue something from the match, with the experienced William Servat and powerful Vincent Debaty coming on to bolster the French front row.

Ireland conceded 11 penalties to France’s four in the hard-fought game, with a 6-1 count in the second half, and Healy says that that certainly hindered the visitors’ momentum.

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“I thought we were fairly hard done by in the second half with our penalty count, but aside from that you’ve got to kind of deal with it and try and get on,” admitted the Leinster prop.

“They put on good pressure when we were trying to do that, so it’s one of those things isn’t it? The tale of two halves. But we did well in the first half and we’ll take what we can from the second half going forward.”

The 24-year-old also lamented the fact that Ireland were unable to keep the scoreboard ticking over after their impressive first half display which left them 17-6 ahead.

“We were going forward strong and it was very positive at half-time. They put on pretty hard pressure when we were trying to go forward and get that extra kick on in the second half.

“It’s about coming out and getting early points in that second half and they got in there first. It was just tough then to maintain the momentum when they were putting it on so heavy.”

Irish captain Paul O’Connell agreed that failing to get an early score after the interval was crucial to the outcome, and said Sunday’s match will go down as a missed opportunity.

“It would have been nice to have come out and scored first in the second half,” said the Munster lock, as he reflected on the 17-17 draw.

“Obviously when you have a lead away from home, the first thing said in every dressing room when you have a lead is to score first.

“France are a very good side. They were World Cup finalists and very nearly won the World Cup. They were obviously going to come out hard at us as well. Unfortunately they got the first score (after half-time).

“I felt if we had got the first score it would have been really good for us. But even with the periods of pressure we did have, if we had got any score at all, even a penalty, it would have given us a bit of a lift. To not score in the second half was very frustrating.”

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