The Rugby Paper

Irish outgunned by ferocious France

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FRANCE will meet England in next weekend’s Six Nations final after a thumping win over Ireland to top Pool B.

Five tries in the first half saw France coast clear with only Cliodhna Moloney crossing for the Irish.

Further scores from Caroline Boujard, Romane Menager and Cyrielle Banet saw France pass the half century of points.

Ireland will meet Italy next Saturday in a battle for third and fourth place.

Ireland’s win over Wales last week had suggested they might provide a stern test of the French. They were on top for much of the opening ten minutes but penalties and handling errors proved costly.

France too were struggling to find their flow until Boujard went over in the corner from a perfectlye­xecuted set-piece move.

For the remaining 25 minutes of the first half the French looked dangerous all over the pitch. Ireland’s only respite came during the spell in which they were down to 14 players with Aoife McDermott in the sin-bin for collapsing a maul that resulted in a penalty try.

Moloney barged over from close range to inject a glimmer of hope for Ireland, but Safi N’Diaye and Banet adding further firsthalf scores. Wing Boujard crossed for her second before replacemen­t Menager and Banet’s second.

Emma Hooban crossed for a late consolatio­n.

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