Six Nations 2018: France v Ireland Match Rating

Jonathan Sexton


How did you enjoy the match today between France and Ireland in Paris?

What were the highlights? Which players performed well?

What does each team need to work on ahead of next week?

Give the match a rating out of 10, and please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Rate the Match: France v Ireland

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10 thoughts on “Six Nations 2018: France v Ireland Match Rating

  1. Bloody hell France. Just can’t count on them to hold out! Bit of a double whammy for England in that Ireland’s belief goes up a notch and France look a tougher prospect than we might have hoped.

  2. Drop goal aside, it was difficult conditions and a war of attrition. It was Ireland that cracked first and ordinarily should have paid for not capitalising on the chances they had earlier on. You can’t really fault France. They are much improved and you can’t really do anything about a thunder cracker of a kick like that from distance. Some very low ratings from people that were apparently expecting a game of beach volleyball. It’s Winter people.

  3. In other news; anyone else expecting that the most dubious use of an HIA possible (his brain’s in his knee, people…) will get the publicity of, say, Bloodgate? On paper, there is NO difference between what they pulled with Machenaud tonight, and the Bloodgate scandal – the only difference is the technicality they used to affect the change. The legitimacy of the action was just as obviously sham in both cases.
    I suppose I should guard myself at this point with a firm statement that this is only my opinion.
    But if nothing comes from this, and it is brushed under the carpet without another word, it is going to stink. They pulled a 50-50% against Wales in the last match last year, but this one tonight was far more blatant. I can only hope World Rugby gets an enquiry going, and soon.

    1. Agree with all that except I thought last year’s against Wales was equally blatant. The HIA protocols are there to protect players from very serious physical consequences and exploiting them like that (If that’s what they did) is beyond simple gamesmanship, It’s disguisting

  4. Personally felt that Ireland looked a bit blunt in attack, all that possession and only penalties to show for it. Certainly the last attack showed France coping well with there attack.

  5. I thought on both occasions Owens called for hia he clearly indicates he’s stopped play on that basis

    1. That doesn’t mean that it was a legit HIA. It means the player dropped from the knee injury and then grabbed his head to ensure there was video evidence to back up an HIA. So Nigel has to play it as he initially sees it.
      The player essentially pulled off a football-esque dive to ensure a better substitution than was warranted, clearly on instruction by the French coaching team, which is disgraceful.
      The action is also essentially crying wolf, which will bring HIAs into question and criticism, thus setting back attempts in the sport to try and preserve players welfare once again.
      Nigel clearly didn’t believe it once he had seen the playback, but laws stipulate it is the Official Match Doctor who makes the call – and the match doctor in question has some serious explaining to do. If he can’t explain, then he should never work in the sport again.
      It all stinks to me.

  6. All it certainly looked absolutely dodgy.

    Anyone know how the match doc is chosen? Is he provided by the host nation?

    If anything can be proved, then the punishments should be the same as those for Bloodgate

  7. I think credit is due to France for not giving away any penalties in that last passage of play. A more cynical, (streetwise/sensible?) option would have been to kill the ball at every opportunity, and disrupt Ireland’s attacking rhythm.

    Similarly it’s no coincidence that Nigel Owens often seems to preside over these spectacular sequences of rugby. In this case, there probably were infringements he could have pinged France for, (and I think he had him arm out for penalty advantage once or twice?), but he communicated well with the French and kept the game flowing.

    Which would you rather see, a series of penalties and stop-start rugby, or a thrilling period of 40+ phases of possession climaxing with a quite brilliant droppy?


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