Ireland 13-15 France, Aviva Stadium
France have kept their hope of a Six Nations Grand Slam alive as they edged out Ireland 15-13 in the second round clash at Aviva Stadium on Sunday.
France now have reclaimed the top place with nine points with better point difference over second placed Wales while Ireland are at fifth place after losing both their games so far. This was also the first win for France in Dublin since 2011 while Ireland have lost their first game at home since Andy Farrell took in charge as head coach.
Ireland were without skipper Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray and James Ryan due to injuries while Peter O'Mahony was suspended following his red-card incident in the opening game against Wales.
Both the teams were in desperate for early points but it came in the 20th minute when France were penalised for not rolling away and Billy Burns kicked the penalty goal to make it 3-0.
The 24th minute saw France reduced to 14-men temporarily with Bernard le Roux sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Bernard le Roux but the home side almost capitalised on the advantage when James Lowe finished in the corner but was disallowed after consultation with TMO with Brice Dulin and Gael Fickou put in desperate efforts to prevent on what looked a certain try.
Nevertheless, France managed to get the opening try of the game in the 29th minute when when Fickou set up Charles Ollivon for his seventh try in 10 matches. Matthieu Jalibert kicked the conversion and followed it with a penalty goal just before the break as the teams finished the opening half with a 3-10 scoreline.
Ireland started the second half with a double injury blow with the heads of Iain Henderson and Cian Healy clashing and both had to leave the field. However, France extended their lead further with Jalibert and Dulin setting up winger Damian Penaud on his way over the try line but the conversion went wide as the scoreline became 3-15.
However, Ireland bounced back immediately when Ollivon conceded a penalty and immediately hooker Kelleher capitalised from a resulting line out to dot down and Byrne improved it and followed with a penalty as the scoreline became 13-15 with 15 minutes left in the game.
France had a chance to extend the lead in the 72nd minute but Jalibert's kick hit the post but it did not make a difference in the end as the Les Bleus edged out with a two-point victory.
Ireland: Keenan; Earls, Ringrose, Henshaw, Lowe; Burns, Gibson-Park; Healy, Herring, Porter; Beirne, Henderson; Ruddock, Van der Flier, Stander.
Reserves: Kelleher, E Byrne, Furlong, Dillane, Connors, Casey, R Byrne, Larmour.
France: Dulin; Penaud, Vincent, Fickou, Villiere; Jalibert, Dupont; Baille, Marchand, Haouas; Le Roux, Willemse; Jelonch, Ollivon, Alldritt.
Reserves: Bourgarit, Kolingar, Atonio, Taofifenua, Cretin, Serin, Bouthier, Thomas.