O'Driscoll returns but Ireland suffer third loss on the spin
Ireland 22 France 26
Sunday 21 August 2011
Ireland's preparations for the World Cup deteriorated as France sent them spinning to a third successive defeat. An eighth-minute try from the prop Cian Healy, who later had to be helped from the pitch, put Ireland ahead but France scored 26 unanswered points.
Brian O'Driscoll returned to lead Ireland after recovering from injury, and any nerves were settled by a third-minute penalty from Jonathan Sexton. A bulldozing run from Sean O'Brien, flattening the French fly-half, David Skrela, led to Healy's try.
Morgan Parra kicked a penalty and François Trinh-Duc dropped a goal from near halfway. In the 31st minute, France produced a marvellous try, Aurélien Rougerie threading his way into a half-gap and slipping the ball to Cédric Heymans, who sprinted over. Parra converted.
Keith Earls was penalised for tackling Trinh-Duc without the ball, handing Parra three points, and Parra then kicked his third penalty before Tomas O'Leary launched a long pass to Jamie Heaslip that was intercepted by Trinh-Duc. Parra converted once again.
Stephen Ferris and Jerry Flannery were brought on but the Ireland full-back, Felix Jones, followed Healy off, after falling awkwardly under a high ball. Sexton scored after a run from Luke Fitzgerald. Ronan O'Gara converted. O'Brien scored an injury-time try, which O'Gara also converted, but Ireland were too far behind.
Ireland F Jones (Munster); A Trimble (Ulster), B O'Driscoll (capt), G D'Arcy (both Leinster), K Earls (Munster); J Sexton (Leinster), T O'Leary (Munster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross (Leinster), D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell (both Munster), S O'Brien, J Heaslip, S Jennings (all Leinster). Replacements T Court (Ulster) for Healy, 50; E Reddan (Leinster) for O'Leary, 53; S Ferris (Ulster) for Jennings, 60; J Flannery (Munster) for Best, 60; R O'Gara (Munster) for D'Arcy, 67; L Fitzgerald (Leinster) for Jones, 68; M McCarthy (Connacht) for O'Callaghan, 75.
France C Heymans; M Médard (both Toulouse), A Rougerie (Clermont Auvergne), F Estebanez, A Palisson (both Brive); D Skrela (Toulouse), M Parra (Clermont); JB Poux (Toulouse), D Szarzewski (Stade Français), N Mas (Perpignan), P Pape (Stade Français), Nallet (Racing Metro), F Ouedraogo (Montpellier), L Picamoles (Toulouse), J Bonnaire (Clermont). Replacements F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier) for Skrela, 13; F Barcella (Biarritz) for Poux, 40; G Guirado (Perpignan) for Szarzewski, 53; J Pierre (Clermont) for Pape, 60; V Clerc (Toulouse) for Rougerie, 72.
Referee C Joubert (South Africa)
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study
Manchester City vs Manchester United combined XI: No place for Yaya Toure... or any United defenders
Sami Khedira transfer news: Arsenal can win the Premier League if they sign Khedira in January, says Perry Groves
Paul Scholes: At last! Some credit for Sam Allardyce
EXCLUSIVE: F1 heading for eastern revolution as new team emerges from Romania
Impressive Kurt Zouma may save Chelsea millions by replacing John Terry
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything