15. Clément Poitrenaud – 7
A dodgy take under the first high ball aside, this was a good performance. Grew in confidence and started to look more and more comfortable.
14. Vincent Clerc – 6
Relatively anonymous, principally down to the fact that Rougerie was having trouble getting him the ball. His over-reaction to a big tackle in the first half was unseemly.
13. Aurélien Rougerie – 4
His worst performance for a long time. Dropping off tackles and unable to string passes together, he was incredibly out of sorts.
12. Wesley Fofana – 7
A bright spot. Three tries in three tests from the young centre, whose strength is definitely underrated.
11. Julian Malzieu – 5
Had no idea how to handle Tommy Bowe and disappeared in attack, with only one major break down the left that came to nothing.
10. François Trinh-Duc – 6
France’s best option at 10? Capable of producing a series of excellent touches but never really seems to control the game.
9. Morgan Parra – 6
Not used to working with a pack under pressure. With untidy ball at the base and hounded by the Irish back row, he struggled to perform. Still kicked well at goal.
1. Jean-Baptiste Poux – 7
On top in the scrum against Mike Ross. His replacement Vincent Debaty however made more of an impact in the loose.
2. Dimitri Szarzewski – 6
Failed to rumble around the park, with Servat looking the better unit when he came on.
3. Nicolas Mas – 7
Powerful as well in the front row, part of a pack that won 10 scrums on their own ball.
4. Pascal Papé – 7
Getting better with every game. Great power and was excellent in the lineout.
5. Yoann Maestri – 8
Looks some player. Perhaps the next great enforcer in world rugby, the giant Maestri showed how hard he can be to handle when taken down by three Ireland players near the try line.
6. Thierry Dusautoir – 7
Not as influential as last week, but still an awesome presence.
7. Julian Bonnaire – 6
Toiled and bruised against the Irish back row, beginning to gain supremacy in the second half.
8. Imanol Harinordoquy – 7
The fact that France won 11 lineouts says it all. Dominant in the skies.
Essential. Debaty and Servat carried on multiple occasions to great effect, whilst Lionel Nallet’s leadership and Louis Picamoles’ aggression kept the momentum behind the French. Lionel Beauxis will be kicking himself for failing to slot over two drop goal chances.
by Ben Coles