Match Centre: France 30-24 Ireland

Antonie Dupont scored the opening try for France
Antonie Dupont scored the opening try for France
©Steve Haag

France 30-24 Ireland, Stade de France

France maintained their perfect start to the Six Nations tournament as they edged out Ireland 30-24 in the second round in Paris on Saturday.

This is second win for France in as many games as they hold the top place in the table while Ireland are at second position with six points.

It took France just two minutes to open their account as Romain Ntamack made a fine offload for Antonie Dupont to score and Melvyn Jaminet kicked a conversion and a penalty goal as they raced to a 10-0 lead by the 7th minute.

Ireland made a strong comeback as Mack Hansen scored his maiden Test try in the 8th minute after collecting a kick from Joey Carbery, who landed the conversion for the visitors' only points in the opening half.

Ireland's discipline, which was excellent during the game against Wales was put to test as Jaminet kicked three more penalties allowing France to have a 19-7 lead at the end of the opening half.

Jaminet continued to impress with his kicking as he slotted a 45m penalty kick early in the second half to increase France's lead to 15 points but Ireland showed better intent with Josh van der Flier broke off from a maul to touch down following an Irish lineout in the 45th minute and five minutes later Dan Sheehan made a half break to create a space for Jamison Gibson-Park to dot down.

Carbery kicked both the conversions as Ireland almost wiped out the deficit to bring the scoreline to 22-21.

The 52nd minute saw Cyril Baille powered his way over the line but the conversion went wide as they extended their lead to six points. A Carbery penalty then left proceedings finely poised going into the final seven minutes, with both the teams separated by just three points.

As the closing stage was nearing, the Irish hopes was put to rest with Jaminet, who had an outstanding game landed the decisive penalty goal in the 79th minute to ensure they completed a thrilling win and remain the only team to keep the hope of a Grand Slam alive.

Team line up:

France: Jaminet; Penaud, Fickou, Moefana, Villiere; Ntamack, Dupont (capt); Baille, Marchand, Atonio, Woki, Willense, Cros, Jelonch, Alldritt.

Replacements: Mauvaka, Gros, Bamba, Taofifenua, Flament, Cretin, Lucu, Ramos

Ireland: Keenan; Conway, Ringrose, Aki, Hansen; Carbery, Gibson-Park; Porter, Kelleher, Furlong, Beirne, Ryan (capt), Doris, Van der Flier, Conan.

Replacements: Sheehan, Healy, Bealham, Henderson, O’Mahony, Murray, Carty, Henshaw.