Sports Monks

Ireland 15-56 France: Rampant French set-up Women’s Six Nations final with England

France will meet England in next weekend’s Six Nations final after a thumping 56-15 victory over Ireland.

Five tries in the first 40 minutes saw the visitors all-but secure the win by half-time, with only Cliodhna Moloney crossing in response for the Irish.

Further scores from Caroline Boujard, Romane Menager and Cyrielle Banet saw France pass the half century of points.

Ireland will meet either Scotland or Italy next Saturday in a battle for third and fourth place.

France entered the game in Dublin as strong favourites to secure top spot in Six Nations Group B, although the manner of Ireland’s impressive win over Wales last week had suggested they might provide a sterner test than in recent meetings between the sides.

The opening exchanges of the game suggested as much, with Ireland edging a scrappy first 10 minutes but wasting some good territory through a high penalty count and a number of handling errors.

France too were struggling to find their flow but once Boujard went over in the corner from a perfectly-executed set-piece move, any doubts among the visitors disintegrated.

For the remaining 25 minutes of the first half the French looked dangerous all over the pitch, even in defence. After knocking Ireland back through multiple phases, the ball was stripped allowing Emilie Boulard to run onto a kick in behind and ground the ball.

Curiously Ireland’s only respite came during the spell in which they were down to 14 players with Aoife McDermott in the sin-bin for collapsing a maul that resulted in a penalty try.

Moloney barged over from close range to inject a glimmer of hope back into Ireland’s cause, but the door was slammed shut shortly after with Safi N’Diaye and Banet adding further first-half scores to emphatically reassert France’s authority.

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