O'Driscoll returns but Ireland suffer third loss on the spin

Ireland 22 France 26

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)

Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Club legend Paul Scholes is scared United could disappear into 'the wilderness'
Life and Style
food + drink
Malky Mackay salutes the Cardiff fans after the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday
footballFormer Cardiff boss accused of sending homophobic, racist and messages
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home