Live Commentary: Ireland 13-13 France - as it happened

Ireland's Paddy Jackson opens the scoring against Scotland during the Six Nations game on February 24, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live coverage from the Six Nations where Ireland host France at the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland hosted France on the penultimate weekend of the Six Nations.

Both side's have endured poor starts to the campaign, with the French yet to win a match in the competition going into the clash.

France were desperate for a win to try to climb off the bottom of the table, while Ireland wanted to put some late pressure on the leaders.

Both sides were forced to settle for just a point as France launched a late fightback to earn a draw at the Aviva Stadium.

Read how it all unfolded with our live commentary below.


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4.31pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's second match of our live coverage from the Six Nations as Ireland host France.

4.32pmBoth these sides have endured miserable campaigns so far, and neither would be expected to be scrapping it out at the bottom of the table.

4.33pmThis match was highlighted before the tournament as a potential title-deciding match. Now, these teams are battling to try to avoid picking up the wooden spoon.

4.38pmIreland have lost back-to-back 6N games for the first time since 2008. They last lost three in a row in 1998. While France have never won the wooden spoon in the Six Nations but were the last team to pick it up in the final Five Nations campaign back in 1999.

4.39pmLast year's clash between the two sides was the first match in 25 years to be rearranged due to the weather, and the conditions are not too much better out there today.

4.39pmThe odds are up against Ireland, who have only beaten France once in their last 13 meetings.

4.39pmWho wants team news? Well you're in luck.

4.41pmIRELAND XV: Kearney; McFadden, O'Driscoll, Marshall, Earls; Jackson, Murray; Healy, Best, Ross, McCarthy, Ryan, O'Mahony, O'Brien, Heaslip

4.42pmSo Ireland's top-appearance player Ronan O'Gara is axed by Declan Kidney, it is Jamie Heaslip who retains the captain's armband.


4.46pmFRANCE XV: Huget, Clerc, Fritz, Fofana, Medard, Michalak, Parra; Domingo, Kayser, Mas, Samson, Maestri, Nyanga, Dusautoir, Picamoles.

4.50pm10 minutes to go.

4.54pmRight, here are the replacements...

4.54pmThe two sides are out and ready for the national anthems, by the way.

4.55pmIRELAND REPLACEMENTS: Cronin, Kilcoyne, Archer, O’Callaghan, Henderson, Reddan, Madigan, Fitzgerald

4.56pmFRANCE REPLACEMENTS: Guirado, Debaty, Ducalcon, Vahaamahina, Claassen, Machenaud, Trinh-Duc, Bastareaud.

4.58pmJust to be clear; the weather is absolutely atrocious.

5pmAnd there we are, two terrific anthems.

5pmThe tracksuit tops are off for both sides, I cannot imagine they will be too happy with that.

5.01pmIs this Brian O'Driscoll's last home game for Ireland? That remains to be seen.

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5.02pmEither way, he is a total legend in the game.

0 minOff we go, France get proceedings underway!

1 minIreland are immediately awarded the lineout, which they win before blasting the ball forward.

2 minRory Best is already towelling down the ball ahead of this lineout, could be a lot of that during this match.

4 minIreland taking their time over these lineouts, but they are working early on. The pressure is on France here, and the panic is clear as they just slam the ball away. Another attacking lineout for Rory Best and the hosts.

5 minIreland's attack is well dealt with by the French, who hold their own and win the penalty. They opt to scrum it down.

7 minWe're preparing the third reset of the scrum now after the front row collapses. We've spent the last two minutes watching nothing.

8 minIreland's forwards didn't get down, so France are allowed the kick the ball into touch from the penalty.

9 minIreland get the crowd going with a well-won maul, before Brian O'Driscoll's chip through for Earls sees Morgan Parra have to clear to touch in his 22.

10 minIreland have another attacking lineout, just 5 metres from the try line.

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11 minTRY! Ireland 5-0 France (Jamie Heaslip)

11 minBrilliant try from Ireland, they win the ball from the lineout, set it, and just drive forward and show no mercy to the French. It's Heaslip who goes over following some great composure from the hosts. Top shunting!

12 minCONVERSION SCORED! Ireland 7-0 France (Paddy Jackson)

12 minGreat kick in tough conditions from Jackson. It's a brilliant start from him and skipper Heaslip, and a perfect one for Ireland.

14 minIreland are well on top, but France have a chance to attack. Huget drops a simple catch deep inside his own half, much to the delight of the crowd, but his responding kick is superb and creates a nice chance for the French.

15 minLes Bleus wint he resulting lineout, and have a chance to push for a try with this scrum.

16 minIreland collapse the scrum and it is a penalty to France.

16 minPENALTY MISSED!

17 minFrederic Michalak puts the kick wide, Ireland still lead by seven.

18 minParra tries to run out of the French 22 but Rob Kearney pressurises him to kick off balance.

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19 minIreland will restart the play with a scrum in the French 22.

21 minIreland penalised in the scrum, but have a lineout on their own 10 metre line.

22 minAnother top lineout from the Irish, and are allowed to make ground forward to win a penalty. Jackson will try this from about 40m out.

23 minPENALTY MISSED!

24 minJackson pulls it just wide of the far post from a long way out. It was a difficult chance, and one that proved just too difficult for him.

25 minFrance have the throw-in now after they opted to attack down the right. Clerc attempted a knock and run forward but he was thwarted early on.

26 minIreland win the ball back from a France attack. The handling error from Dusautoir results in an Ireland scrummage.

27 minIreland are punished, and France can score from this penalty.

27 minPENALTY SCORE! Ireland 7-3 France (Frederic Michalak)

28 minSteady run up from Michalak, but he stabs the ball between the posts to get the French up and running.


28 minIreland have won themselves a penalty from the ruck, great play from them. Jackson is lining this one up with a view to restore his side's seven-point advantage.

30 minPENALTY SCORED! Ireland 10-3 France (Paddy Jackson)

30 minFor someone who isn't a regular kicker for his club, that was phenomenal kick from Jackson, who gets it perfectly between the posts from miles out.

32 minIreland on top once again, and force a brilliant turnover. They are given a penalty.

32 minChance for Jackson again, it's near enough in the same position to where he hit his last one from.

33 minPENALTY SCORED! Ireland 13-3 France (Paddy Jackson)

33 minIt's a carbon copy of his last penalty as Jackson extends his side's lead to 10 points. Brilliant from him.

34 minThere is still a long way to go but France are in real danger of losing their fifth straight match. Ireland are dominant. A brilliant kick from Luke Marshall gives Ireland a very attacking lineout.

35 minFrance win the ball from the lineout and have the chance to kick from a penalty, after a trip on Picamoles.

36 minBit of a surprise that no yellow card was awarded there to Ryan.

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38 minDusautoir has been all over the place for France, bailing them out on a number of occasions.

39 minFantastic move from Huget who runs forward to the halfway line before blasting a kick out of touch in the corner to result in an attacking lineout. Ireland's ball.

40 minIt's well defended Ireland. They win the lineout, drive forward with Best before Jackson dummies his man and knocks the ball into touch. Real confidence and composure from the 21-year-old.

40+1 minThe clock is ticking as we await half time. France have the chance to peg Ireland back slightly with this penalty. Not quite sure what it was given for.

40+2 minMichalak will attempt the kick.

40+2 minHALF TIME: Ireland 13-3 France

5.44pmMichalak sends the kick wide as the first half is brought to an end, and it was a terrific 40 minutes for the hosts.

5.45pmIreland have been well on top. Heaslip's early try got them going, could by three good kicks from Jackson, including one conversion. They deserve the lead.

5.45pmFrance will need to do far better in the second half, they are being absolutely out-smartened by the hosts.

5.55pmThe French are back out at the Aviva Stadium.

5.56pmA huge roar cascades around the ground as the hosts jog back on to the field.

5.56pmIt is still hammering it down in Dublin.

41 minPicamoles immediately drops the catch from the Ireland kick, and the hosts will take the resulting lineout.

42 minMcCarthy drops the ball while on the attack for Ireland as Fofana claims possession following the knock-on.

44 minFrance fail to use the ball from the scrum, and awards the decision to Ireland. The resulting scrum ends up with the hosts being awarded a penalty.

44 minSo Jackson has the chance to make it a 13-point gap. He will have to convert this from a very long way out though. 42m roughly.

45 minPENALTY MISSED!

45 minThe line was correct but the kick from Jackson was just short.


46 minRob Kearney produces a brilliant kick to peg France back to their own 22.

48 minSean O'Brien tries a tricky offload to Murray, who knocks on. Another good maul from Ireland.

50 minIreland pushing forward in this attack, the French are holding their own at the moment. In the end Kearney attempts a poor drop goal to gift possession back to France.

52 minIreland are awarded a scrum at the conclusion of a scrappy segment of play.

54 minMike Ross fails to stay down in the scrum and it's a penalty to France, which Parra will take, replacing Michalak.

54 minPENALTY SCORED! Ireland 13-6 France (Morgan Parra)

55 minAbsolutely superb kick from Parra to get his penalty game off in style. Why didn't he take the others? France back in it.

56 minFrance now look to have a bit of momentum on the go and look to attack from this scrum.

57 minFrance now have a penalty on Ireland 10-metre line, Parra to step up and perhaps reduce the deficit to just four points. The kick will be taken right out on the left touchline.

58 minPENALTY MISSED!

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58 minIt was a difficult kick for Parra, but he slips that one horribly wide to leave the score as it is.

59 minKearney's boot puts Ireland back in the French half. A France scrum is on the way.

60 minA reset is required for that scrum. No penalty awarded.

62 minInto the final 18 minutes of the match, if France could get a prompt score it would create a tense finish at the Aviva Stadium. Frankly, they don't look like doing that the way things are at the moment.

64 minIt continues to miserably pour in Dublin.

66 minFrance are awarded the penalty, which Parra takes and brilliantly puts out of touch in the corner. Chance for the away side to attack now.

68 minFrance's spell on the front foot is ended after they fail to release the ball from the ruck. Brilliant play from O'Driscoll.

69 minMichalak is being booed by his own fans at the Aviva Stadum.

71 minFrance come so close to breaking down Ireland, but the hosts defend brilliantly, and can hold it up for long enough to earn the decision.

72 minO'Driscoll looks likely to come off here, he has failed to shake off an earlier knock.

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72 minO'Driscoll comes off to a standing ovation for Ireland. Could that be his last appearance here? Who knows.

72 minFrance have done well since making their changes. They trail by seven points but are on the front foot. It's squeaky bum time in Dublin.

74 minTRY! Ireland 13-11 France (Louis Picamoles)

75 minWow what a finish we have here. France thought they had an initial try from Parra when he went over, but the penalty had already been awarded. However, Picamoles took it quickly, and squeezed it over for the score.

76 minCONVERSION SUCCESSFUL! Ireland 13-13 France (Frederic Michalak)

76 minHaving been booed earlier, Michalak converts the kick and we're level in Dublin. O'Driscoll has returned to the field. What a finish we have here!

77 minEarls thinks that he has immediately responded with a try in the corner, but it looks as if Picamoles has denied him. Replays show that Earls was actually pushed off the ball. It's looking like it could be a penalty.

77 minThe referee and TMO are discussing the decision, and they give a drop-out on the 22. France have gotten away with one there. Ireland will feel like they should have had a penalty.

79 minFinal moments of the match, will there be a winning move?

80 minIreland attempt perhaps their final attack, but France turn it over and win the penalty.

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80 minEoin Reddan is flat out in the middle of the field, and looks in some discomfort.

80 minNo time for the lineout for France so they will have to run this with just seconds remaining.

80 minThe stretcher cart vehicle is on the field and we could be a few minutes as Reddan receives treatment.

80+1 minFULL TIME: Ireland 13-13 France

6.54pmSo it ends level in Dublin, as Ireland fail to add any points. France came back dramatically late on and they will be happy to have taken the draw. This will feel like a defeat for the hosts.

6.55pmWell that's it from me today after another exciting day of Six Nations rugby, join me tomorrow for the final match of the weekend, as England host Italy at Twickenham from 3pm.

6.56pmFULL TIME RESULTS:
Scotland 18-28 Wales
Ireland 13-13 France

6.57pmThanks for joining me, see you tomorrow. Enjoy your evening!

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