Big win gives Irish reason to believe

Henry

Ireland’s rugby confidence cup is currently full to overflowing after beating France 38 – 17 at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille.

Andy Farrell’s players scored five tries to the home side’s two and they also made fewer handling errors (nine to 14), while also frequently converting possession.

Ireland’s dominance also got a boost in the first half when France’s South African-born lock, Paul Willemse, was sent off with a red card.

Munster’s Tadhg Beirne added to Ireland’s three-score party and he could hardly believe his eyes when he saw the final score.

“Beating France with such a score is very unexpected. You brace yourself in advance for a tough game; maybe the red card made things easier for us, who knows?

According to the conclusion, Irish rugby players have an unwavering belief in their abilities on the playing field.

“Yet we also knew that we didn’t have to back France at all – especially when you look at our skills and our approach to the game. It is a great privilege to play with the group; we love what we do.”

Galthié believes there is still gas in France’s rugby tank

Despite the defeat – it’s the biggest since he took over France’s coaching reins in 2019 – Fabien Galthié believes that the Roosters have not lost their nerve.

“Losing the opening game of the Six Nations is never a positive thing and we will have to live with it. Yes, it is difficult, but the tournament does not stand still. There are four more games waiting for us and Scotland is next,” France’s head coach said.

He did complain about France’s struggles in attack.

“We can all agree that we weren’t at our best – we gave possession away, we were slow and our handling was rotten. We told each other beforehand to make the game fast, but playing with 14 players against Ireland didn’t help much either.”

  • Scorers:

Ireland: Tries: Jamison Gibson-Park, Tadhg Beirne, Calvin Nash, Dan Sheehan and Ronan Kelleher. Goals: Jack Crowley (5). Penalty: Crowley.

France: Tries: Damian Penaud and Paul Gabrillagues. Goals: Thomas Ramos (2). Penalty kick: Ramos.

  • Today’s other fixtures:

16:15: Italy v England

6.45pm: Wales v Scotland