15. Yoann Huget – 7
The best of the French backs by a long way. A safe pair of hands at the back were needed in the atrocious conditions, and he provided them. Kept Ireland pinned back with some excellent kicking, and looked dangerous when he decided to counter-attack.
14. Vincent Clerc – 5
Not a day for wing play. Clerc hardly saw the ball in attack, but did a solid enough job defending. Will be hoping for sunnier weather next weekend.
13. Florian Fritz – 5
It’s hard to see what he’s added to this French side. Bastareaud, who replaced Fritz in the second half, has looked more potent both in defence and attack.
12. Wesley Fofana – 6
A tough order to match the explosive display from last week. A couple of jinking runs and solid in defence, but nothing more. Still the best in this position in the hemisphere.
11. Maxime Medard – 5
Spent most of the time with his hands on his hips looking bored. Needs a greater appetite for work, rather than just waiting for things to happen.
10. Frédéric Michalak – 5
A slight improvement over some of his other performances thus far, but still thoroughly mediocre. Deserves some kudos for nailing the tricky but essential conversion late on (although he missed a few earlier in the match). Tactically not up to scratch though – at least not in these conditions.
9. Morgan Parra – 6.5
Did a good job generally of marshalling his team in the absence of a competent fly-half. Must have been bewildered as to why he wasn’t given kicking duties to start with.
8. Louis Picamoles – 8
Hasn’t had a poor game thus far. A couple of his trademark surging runs were complemented by tireless tackling. Topped off the performance with a powerful short range try. It’s a shame the the two best number eights of the tournament – Parisse and Picamoles – can’t go on the Lions tour.
7. Thierry Dusautoir – 7
Growing in stature as the tournament goes on, but still not back to his world-class best. Has to take some credit for the leadership he’s shown in (just about) dragging his team out of a quagmire.
6. Yannick Nyanga – 6.5
A good performance to cap a decent day out for the back row trio. A much more powerful runner than his lightweight frame would indicate, he was also a constant thorn in Ireland’s side at the breakdown.
5. Yoann Maestri – 6
Although fairly youthful by international standards, Maestri plays like the old-school variety of lock. Threw plenty of grunt and bulk around before going off with an injury.
4. Christophe Samson – 7
Was an important presence at the line-out and topped the tackle count with 14 – more even than Dusautoir. Is growing into his role at this level.
3. Nicolas Mas – 6
It was difficult at times, given the combination of an appalling pitch and some incompetent refereeing, to tell precisely what was going on in the scrum. Whatever was happening, it was inconsistent, which is precisely what Mas’s performances have been.
2. Benjamin Kayser – 6.5
Looked much more effective than the show-pony Szarzewksi. Threw well in the lineout and made some hard yards in the loose.
1. Thomas Domingo – 6
One powerful run early on seemed to take most of the energy out of him, and from then on rarely showed up in loose play. Scrummaging seemed to go okay, but none of the dominance we’ve come to expect from him.
Replacements – 7
Practically a masterclass compared with the awful impact made by the bench against England. Bastareaud and Claassen in particular made an impact with some good hard running.
By Gideon Heugh