France comprehensively defeated Ireland to get their World Cup campaign back on track. Ireland were once again disappointing, and are now likely to tumble out of the tournament before the knockout stages.
Only in the first ten minutes did Ireland look as if they could win the game, as Ronan O’Gara got the better of kicking exchanges with Frederick Michalak. However, France soon started to control the game with Serge Betsen’s pack dominating the set piece and Jean-Baptiste Ellisalde punishing Irish ill-discipline.
Ireland must now beat Argentina, win a bonus point by scoring 4 tries, and by a margin of more than 7 points to deprive the opposition of a bonus. On this showing, and on recent form, it’s unlikely they will even win the game.
If that is the case, Argentina will win the group, France will face New Zealand as runners-up and Ireland will be sent home to face the wrath of its public that was so expectant just a few weeks ago.
The inquest into Ireland’s disastrous World Cup display will now begin. Should Geordan Murphy have been picked for this game to provide some extra spark when they were chasing the game? Was Peter Stringer’s experience missed? Let me know where you think it all went wrong.