/ Six Nations 2014

Comeback by Ireland Women comes up just short against France

Updated: Friday, 14 Mar 2014 21:19 | Comments

Claire Molloy and Marie Louise Reilly of Ireland compete with Coumba Diallo
Claire Molloy and Marie Louise Reilly of Ireland compete with Coumba Diallo

A spirited second half comeback from Ireland Women, including two fine tries from Gillian Bourke, failed to stop France from clinching a 19-15 win - and the Grand Slam.

Ireland had trailed the French 19-3 at one point in the second half, after tries from Marion Lievre in the first half and Elodie Portaries and Shannon Izar in the second half.

France had made an impressive start to the game, Lievre touching down after six minutes following a period of sustained French pressure that sucked in the Irish defence, allowing space out on the wing. Agricole missed the conversion, leaving the French five points ahead.

The sides went in at the interval with France still 5-0 ahead, but shortly after the second half began, France added to their total.

N'Diaye made a fine run for France, Mayan built on her momentum, and the ball ended up with Portaries, who touched down. Agricole added the extras to leave Ireland trailing 12-0

Niamh Briggs kicked a penalty for Ireland after Portaies' try to make it 12-3, but when Izar touched it looked as if Ireland were in serious trouble. Ireland had failed to clear their lines, and Agricole found Izar, who made no mistake with the finish. After Agricole added the conversion, the French were 19-3 ahead and Ireland were in serious trouble.

But Ireland came alive thereafter, Bourke bagging a brace of tries, both coming from great Irish mauling. Although Briggs missed the first conversion, she slotted the second, and Ireland were four points behind.

Ultimately, though, they could not get a third, vital try, and France held on for the win and the Grand Slam.

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