Dominant Ireland get some of their rhythm back - Schmidt

Heather Diaz
March 13, 2019

France scrum-half Antoine Dupont, one of the rising stars of the French game, was not at his best in a match where Les Bleus spent much of the time camped near their own try-line, with Ireland captain Rory Best powering past him for the first try of the match as early as the third minute.

"I am satisfied in getting four tries and the bonus point was what we needed to stay right in the mix", said Schmidt.

Johnny Sexton believes Ireland is the right team to spoil Wales' Six Nations Grand Slam party.

The Irish showed much more attacking fervour and cohesiveness than they had in three underwhelming performances so far in the championship.

"We still have a shout (of the championship) and we know that if we get a performance then the pressure is on England and then you never know what might happen". It was an utterly dominant opening half from Joe Schmidt's side, who dominated the possession and territory stats in running up a 21-0 lead before the interval.

It's going to be a proper Six Nations test match.

"It means we're one point behind England, two points behind Wales, one round to go".

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The New Zealander, who is set to take charge of his final Guinness Six Nations match at the helm of Ireland, has some interesting selection decisions, including at full-back - where Jordan Larmour will challenge Rob Kearney for the starting jersey after impressing against France.

"It's always important to do that because we need the points with where we are but we need the confidence as well to get back on the front foot, but in six days times it becomes a whole different equation".

It would have been asking a lot for an experienced No. 9 to turn the tide in these circumstances, let a lone a 22-year-old, making just his fourth start in 13 Tests, but France will hope Dupont is a better player in the long run for this chastening experience.

"We've been as frustrated as anyone with some of the stuff from the first three games", said Best, who opened the scoring in what was his last home Six Nations. It's nice when they come off, and it's nice to score tries!

For the French there was little to smile about although France coach Jacques Brunel took some solace in the manner that France had defended against incessant Irish pressure and in coming back at the end.

Everyone's in the Team Of Us.

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