By Tadhg Peavoy


2103 Ireland were outplayed and outclassed in the first 40 in Bordeaux. They looked down and out, but fought back bravely in the second period to come within a point of France at 13-12. But, with a penalty in the France 22, Ireland elected to kick for goal again and missed. That was to be Ireland's last score as France rallied, struck back with two more penalties, shored up their defence and began to secure more possession.

Ireland had a scrum and a lineout in the France 22 in the last five minutes: the scrum collapsed and France were given a penalty; the lineout was overthrown and lost. Ireland must improve the set piece, be more creative in attack and build on what was a decent second half.

In the end, this must be viewed as a chance lost against a France team that is eminently beatable. Ireland will take solace from their ability to turn a dismal performance into an acceptable performance.

Let us hope their is better to come agaisnt France in the return fixture next Saturday in Dublin.

In tonight's other game Italy have rallied to beat Japan 31-24 in Cesena. Reports will be up on the site shortly.

See y'after.


80 mins O'Gara kicks to touch in the French corner. The lineout throw is awful and the ball flies over O'Connell and into French hands. It is hastily cleared to touch and Steve Walsh blows for full-time.

80 mins Skrela is fed and hands off two tackles. Skrela then goes to contact and holds on - penalty Ireland.

79 mins Pierre takes the lineout and Parra breaks down the flank. France set the ruck and look to wind down the clock.

78 mins Scrum Ireland: the scrum collapses and France win a penalty. Yachvili boots to touch for a France lineout.

76 mins O'Gara snipes around the edge of the ruck. Nallet brings him down. Murray garryowens and Palisson claims and calls the mark in his 22. Medard taps and goes and sets the ruck. Skrela then boots long to O'Gara. MCFadden finds Earls on the right wing and he races into the France 22. Two-on-two Earls decides to kick instead of pass and the ball is intercepted and knocked on by France. Ireland scrum in the France 22.

75 France rob the ball in contact and go wide right. Marty finds Clerc, who tries to pass inside, but O'Connell intercepts and Ireland go at France. Healy is brought down. O'Connell has a go.

Murray feeds Earls who drives into a blue wall of defence.

72 mins Trinh-Duc chips over the top and McFadden and Medard chase it to the corner. McFadden gets there and boots to touch to save a certain France try. France win the lineout and set the ruck. Ducalcon darts at the line and is stopped. Dussatoir does the same. France then knock on and Healy steals and sets up the ruck for Ireland. Fitzgerald beats three men to take Ireland up to their own 22.

71 mins Yachvilis knocks over the penalty: France 19-12 Ireland

70 mins France kick the penalty to touch and will take the lineout on the Ireland 22. They win the throw and go wide out the line where Fitzgerald is penalised for taking Medard out off the ball. Penalty France on the Ireland 22.

69 mins Ireland kick to the corner and Medard fields but can only get it to Irish hands. Flannery drives low and into contact as Ireland suck in French cover. Ryan shoulders into contact and sets the ruck. The ball flies loose and Buckley tries to find McFadden, but France swallow him up and McFadden concedes the penalty for not releasing.

67 mins McFadden is on for Trimble.

67 mins Yachvili will kick the penalty at goal: from 48 metres out, Yachvili smacks it over the bar. 16-12 Ireland

66 mins Ireland pop up in the scrum and France win the penalty.

65 mins Scrum Ireland on halfway. Bonnaire is on for Harinordoquy.

65 mins Flannery finds O'Connell in the lineout. But France turn it over at the next ruck. Poux knocks on when he receives a pass in the middle of the park.

65 mins Medard is to come on for France, he comes in at full back for Traille.

64 mins France kick from deep and makes touch on halfway.

63 mins O'Gara says he wants the kick at goal. From wide left of goal, from on the 22, O'Gara pushes it wide right. Chance missed.

61 mins Skrela clears and finds Jones - the full back chips over the France defence and finds himself in a foot race with Yachvili to get the loose ball. Yachvili wins it and kicks to touch. Ireland win the resulting lineout and set the maul. The Irish lads come right to the line and win a penalty for France killing it.

60 mins Murray and Flannery are both on the pitch now.

59 mins Lineout France: they win and boot long. Ireland claim and go to Jones in midfield. O'Gara is fed and he loops out to Trimble on the wing. Reddan tries to find Buckley, but the ball goes forward.

59 mins O'Connell wins the restart and Reddan feeds O'Gara - who kicks to the corner.

58 mins O'Gara, from nearly halfway, just right of the posts: Ronan wallops it over the bar - Ireland are within a point of France now. France 13-12 Ireland

57 mins France win the lineout and Skrela goes to contact, but Heaslip shoves him back ten yards. France hold on in the loose and Ireland win a penalty. O'Gara indicates he will go for goal.

56 mins Skrela boots to touch for France.

56 mins Scrum France on their 22: Ireland stand up and France win the penalty.

56 mins Ireland win the lineout and at the next phase Sean O'Brien knocks on.

55 mins Scrum Ireland: they win and Wallace kicks to the corner. Traille comes across to claim and boots downfield - he only makes the 22.

54 mins France's Skrela fails to make the restart go ten metres, so scrum back Ireland. France are rocking here.

53 mins ROG is 47m out and calms himself for the kick - awesome kick and Ireland are right back in this tie. France 13-9 Ireland

53 mins O'Gara will go for the penalty from near halfway, more of less in front of the posts.

52 mins France win the lineout and kick long. Ireland claim and set the ruck - penalty Ireland as France go off their feet at the ruck.

51 mins The scrum wheels but Ireland still win. O'Gara gets it and kicks to the corner - quality kick and France are under pressure now. Heaslip and Buckley are both on now.

50 mins Paul O'Connell is on for Leo Cullen.

48 mins Trinh-Duc restarts: O'Brien takes it. Reddan kicks long for Trimble to take. France win it though and they set up a ruck in the midfield. Skrela kicks to Fitzgerald, who feeds O'Brien. The flanker kicks to Palisson. France return it and Jones bashes long to France. Skrela fields it and goes to contact. Skrela holds on and Ireland win the scrum.

47 mins Felix Jones comes on for Rob Kearney - just moments after Rob Kearney made that superb run.

O'Gara to add the points. From wide right of the sticks he nails the penalty. France 13-6 Ireland

46 mins For the first time in the game Ireland have put more than four phases together. O'Brien breaks the line and tries to offload, but it doesn't go to hand. Ireland win a penalty for France offside.

45 mins Pierre takes clean lineout ball. Yachvili kicks long to Kearney who opens the legs and strides into the France 22 - great break. Ireland recycle and Reddan spins right wide: O'Brien takes and dummies before driving into contact. Healy drives off the ruck at the left side.

44 mins Ireland win a lineout and go wide to Kearney in the line. The Ireland full-back is in touch. Lineout France.

43 mins Best finds Cullen in the lineout. O'Gara boots clear to touch. Palisson takes the lineout quickly and France spread wide as Skrela kicks wide to Palisson, but he can't get on the end of it. Lineout Ireland. The Ireland throw from Best is crooked and France win a scrum. Lakafia picks and goes down the blindside and is stopped in the 22. He loses it and Ireland boot downfield.

41 mins Trinh-Duc restarts and Ross comes away with it. Ireland set the ruck and Reddan clears. France steal and Lakafia sets up before Yachvili kicks to the corner.

2042 Teams out on the pitch in Bordeaux.

2041 Action will return shortly in France. Does Kidney make changes at half-time or does he stick with what he's got?

2038 Anonymous email: Why do the Irish Rugby Team not sing the Rugby Anthem even if they do not know the words. The French all sing. Let us get fired up.

Well Mr A, they looked fairly fired up to me. They also looked to be melting in the French heat. They reminded me of Stan Staunton in the heat of the Florida sun against Mexico in US 94.

2036 That was truly stinking from Ireland. Stagnant, plodding, bereft of ideas. Big trouble for Ireland if they continue to be so poor. Yes, this is the start of the season and they have only one game or so played so far this season. But, France are in the same boat and are running rings around us. Ireland must improve or face a good beating in the south of France.

2030 The score in the night's other match is Italy 14-17 Japan. A surprise on the cards in Cesena?


40 mins O'Brien wins the restart and Wallace is fed before chipping down the line. Fitzgerald gets on to it, but France steal at the ruck and as the clock ticks into the red, the ball is kicked to touch. Referee Steve Walsh blows for half-time.

38 mins O'Gara kicks the penalty from 47m out, wide left of the posts. A superb penalty kick bisects the posts.
France 13-3 Ireland

37 mins France lineout to Harinordoquy at the back and Trinh-Duc boxkicks long. Trimbles takes it in the air and Ireland go wide to Earls, who sets up. Healy drives hard up the middle and then Ross has a pop. Millo-Chlusky makes the tackle on Ross. Dussautoir comes around the edge of the ruck, offside, to hit Reddan and Ireland win a penalty.

37 mins Scrum Ireland: Reddan feeds and Ireland hold and Leamy feeds Reddan. Wallace kicks to the corner and this is good territory for Ireland now.

36 mins Szarzewski knocked on for France that time.

35 mins Yachvili uses Dussautoir as a battering ram as France barge their way forward. France knock on around halfway and Ireland will get the scrum put-in.

34 mins Earls tries to find Fitzgerald on the wing - the pass is abysmal and sails into touch.

32 mins Lineout France: they win and set up the maul at two in the line. France go wide and Skrela bursts through the middle after some lovely France offloading. But, Ireland win a penalty as as France hold on in contact - Dussautoir is the offender.

31 mins Scrum France: Lakafia picks and goes, Trinh-Duc tries to spin wide, but the pass goes to ground. Earls gets on to the loose ball and grubbers it long and to touch.

30 mins Ireland kick long and knock on - France scrum.

30 mins Yachvili attempts to clear and fails to put much distance on it and France win back their own kick. Palisson boots long to Kearney and he touches down behind the tryline for a 22-metre drop-out.

29 mins Yachvili goes for goal from on the 22, wide right - easy for the scrum-half. France 13-0 Ireland

28 mins Mermoz has been injured and Skrela comes on in his place.

27 mins Ireland again lose the lineout and France set up and go wide with Clerc, he is hauled down, but France win a penalty for Ireland offside.

26 mins Scrum France: Lakafia picks and goes - Harinordoquy then drives on some more yards before Trinh-Duc kicks long. Fitzgerald kicks back to Trinh-Duc and he has a sniping run and carves Ireland open - he is smashed into touch by Reddan as Trinh-Duc is about to offlaod to Clerc.

24 mins Trinh-Duc launches a garryowen and Kearney claims it. He boots downfield to Clerc - who field it and returns the kick. Kearney claims and runs to contact. Cullen drives forward, but the referee Steve Walsh says knock on. Ireland are in shocking form tonight, so far.

23 mins Ireland lose it and France go forward with Dussautoir. Marty has a switch with Mermoz and Ireland are chasing shadows at the minute.

21 mins France clear their lines though Trinh-Duc, but he carried the ball back over his own 22, so, Ireland get the put in to the lineout.

20 mins Traille's drop goal was wide. So, we stand at 10-0.

18 mins TRY - FRANCE - CLERC
Fitzgerald hit a French man off the ball at the restart and France win a penalty, they kick to touch. France win the lineout and go wide to Trinh-Duc - Trimble comes up to smack the outhalf and stop him. France recyle and enter the Ireland 22. Lakafia drives at the Ireland defence. France go wide through the hands and find Palisson, who is stopped by Wallace, but Palisson manages to offload to Clerc off the ground and the winger marches in to touchdown.

Yachvili taps over the conversion. Ireland in trouble now.
France 10-0 Ireland

15 mins France still in the Ireland 22 and Yachvili sees Traille has come into the pocket from full-back. Traille scuffs the kick off the outside off his right boot: drop goal for France goes wide.

14 mins Lineout Ireland: Best finds Cullen who taps back to Reddan. France rob it and break out right through Marconnet. It is spread wide by France and Traille hits the line and is stopped by Earls. France set up several rucks in the Ireland 22 and drive for the try. Ireland hold firm and try to steal. Dussautoir has a pop and Ryan stops him.

11 mins Scrum Ireland: Earluy engagement by Ireland and free-kick for France. They break forward but Healy steals in the ruck. Reddan gives O'Gara a woeful pass but the flyhalf clears to Traille. The France 15 clears to touch.

10 mins Kearney made that try-saving tackle. Lineout France: Harinordoquy wins it and France set up in the middle. France then go blind with Clerc, he is tackled by Earls and knocks on.

9 mins Szarzewski hits Lakafia, who drops it and O'Callaghan swoops in to secure Irish possession. Ireland drive forward with Healy and then go wide to Wallace who jinks in the midfield before feeding Best who is stuffed in the tackle and knocks on. France steal and the ball is chipped long down the wing for Clerc to chase. He gets on to it and a last-ditch tackle saves a certain try. Scrum Ireland - they win it and Leamy picks and goes. O'Gara boots to touch.

6 mins Trinh-Duc boots to touch.

5 mins Cullen wins O'Gara's long kick forward and Ireland have possession in the France 22. O'Callaghan drops it and O'Brien cleans up and is smothered by France. Ireland recycle bu are driven back to the 10-metre line. Ireland hold on in the ruck and France win the penalty.

3 mins France win their own lineout and win a penalty as Ireland fail to roll away. Yachvili will kick for goal from the 22-metre line. From wide left he bisects the posts. France 3-0 Ireland.

2 mins France retain the ball and Marconnet drives hard and forward. Ireland are tackling and counter-rucking. France chip ahead and Reddan boots it downfield to clear the lines.

Trimble got to that chip ahead and did well to secure the ball.

1 min On a commence! O'Gara kicks off to France and Pierre receives. France go upfield with Traille from full-back. France then ruck forward to the halfway. Trinh-Duch spreads wide to Palisson but he is stopped.

1947 There is a ceremonial kick-off from an ill child before the real kick-off.

1946 Action is about to get underway.

1944 A minute's silence is being observed for Albert Ferrasse, who died on 28 July aged 93. He a pioneering president of the French rugby federation (FFR).

1942 La Marseillaise booms around the stadium in Bordeaux.

1940 Ireland play in white tonight and France are in electric blue and navy. The Irish boys looked caked in sweat as Ireland's Call s belted out.

1938 The immensity of the task facing Ireland is underlined by the fact Ireland have only won once in France since 1972. That was the Brian O'Driscoll-inspired win in 2000. In 1972 Ireland won 14-9 in Stade Colombes.

1936 Brent Pope reckons that Ireland will lose tonight and that France are too strong at home for Kidney's men. Hook feels that one of the main questions being asked is how fit is Kearney?

1935 The other international Test match today is Italy v Japan at 7.45pm. We'll bring you news from that tie as it happens too.

1931 For those that missed todays' earlier matches, Wales beat England 19-9 and Australia beat South Africa 14-9. Match reports are here.

1930 Ciaran Foley has emailed to ask: Can you see if anyone knows where we can catch the ireland game in glasgow please?

If anyone knows email in and I'll forward post the details.

1928 Conditions in Bordeaux tonight are clear skies and 20 degrees celsius.

1927 Lots of talk of Jerry Flannery's return from injury - he's on the bench tonight and will more than likely see some action.

1926 Rob Kearney interview with Hugh Cahill on the box now. Kearney is playing his second game in seven months tonight.

1925 Ronan Cullen has emailed to say: The latest "addition to our family" is a rabbit, named Leo Cullen. Go Leo, you good thing!!

1923 Interesting point from George Hook - he states that Keith Earls has started his last three Ireland games in different positions. Very hard for Earls to bed down and secure a berth in the team when he is being pinged around the backline from centre to full-back to wing.

1900 Right, I'll be back shortly for more build up and the game itself. Until then take five and enjoy this classy catch and try from Rugby League star David Mead:

1855 TV coverage starts at 7.15pm for those of you who have access to it.

1853 For those of you interested, Stade Chaban-Delmas is named after Jacques Chaban-Delmas. He was mayor of Bordeaux from 1947 to 1995. Chaban-Delmas was also Prime Minister under Georges Pompidou from 1969 to 1972. Now you know, so you do.

1851 The teams for action in France tonight are listed below, scroll down to get them.

1847 Leo Cullen captains Ireland tonight and with the captaincy he has a huge chance to impress the selectors and claim a starting berth in the engine room at the RWC. Donncha O'Callaghan is the incumbent he must dislodge in the Ireland team and the Munster man lines up alongside the Leinster captain tonight. Who would you pick? Email me above and we'll air your views.

1836 Four warm-up games, followed by four Rugby World Cup matches - at a minimum. Those are the battles that stretch out before Declan Kidney's Ireland team this autumn.

The war started in the worst possible manner last Saturday - with defeat to European rugby's failing superpower Scotland.

But, that was Deccie's second team, the Ireland coach unveils are far stronger hand in Bordeaux tonight and the Irish public will be praying to the gods of rugby that Mr Kidney's hand holds some aces.

France v Ireland, international rugby Test match, at the Stade Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux, kick-off 7.45pm.

15 FB Damien Traille
14 W Vincent Clerc
13 C David Marty
12 C Maxime Mermoz
11 W Alexis Palisson
10 FH Francois Trinh-Duc
9 SH Dimitri Yachvili
1 P Sylvain Marconnet
2 H Dimitri Szarzewski
3 P Luc Ducalcon
4 L Julien Pierre
5 L Romain Millo-Chlusky
6 F Thierry Dusautoir
7 F Imanol Harinordoquy
8 N8 Raphael Lakafia

16 Guilhem Guirado
17 Jean-Baptiste Poux
18 Lionel Nallet
19 Julien Bonnaire
20 Morgan Parra
21 David Skrela
22 Maxime Medard

15 FB Rob Kearney
14 W Andrew Trimble
13 C Keith Earls
12 C Paddy Wallace
11 W Luke Fitzgerald
10 FH Ronan O'Gara
9 SH Eoin Reddan
1 P Cian Healy
2 H Rory Best
3 P Mike Ross
4 L Donncha O'Callaghan
5 L Leo Cullen
6 F Donnacha Ryan
7 F Sean O'Brien
8 N8 Denis Leamy

16 Jerry Flannery
17 Tony Buckley
18 Paul O'Connell
19 Jamie Heaslip
20 Conor Murray
21 Fergus McFadden
22 Felix Jones