Ireland's love for Johnny Sexton truly knows no bounds

06 February, 2018, 13:46 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • Matthieu Jalibert was among the players to be sent for HIA during the game

He hit one previous year against England which was a cracking drop goal as well, or it might have been France actually, so he has got a few but not many. North, coming back from a left knee injury, has been released back to his Northampton club.

Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton appeared to challenge referee Nigel Owens after Dupont's departure on 75 minutes.

The more controversial incident came in the thrilling endgame to the match when Dupont went down injured, with French team-mates indicating he had suffered a head injury.

Leinster Rugby and Munster Rugby's European Rugby Champions Cup exploits have been rewarded by Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, whose selection for the Six Nations Championship clash with France on Saturday is dominated by the two sides.

"Jalibert's head also collided with Aki's hip, so that HIA call was plausible, but in neither case was the match doctor on the field or able to talk to Owens directly, a situation that will surely be investigated in the review".

On a dismal night in Paris with a heavy wet ball, 45 metres is a hell of a distance to smash a drop goal and steal a win with 82.38 on the clock.

If selected, Beauxis may take the kicking duties from scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud, who struck two penalties for France against Ireland.

However, lack of discipline continued to cost Brunel's side as yet another infraction gave Sexton the chance to restore Ireland's six-point advantage going into the break - one he grasped with both hands.

"I thought it (the drop goal) was a little short".

It was easily the most dramatic of Sexton's four Test drop-goals, the others coming against Wales in 2010 (27-12), Australia at RWC 2011 (15-6) and France in last year's meeting (19-9), and it completed a sensational finish to what was largely a grimly mediocre match.

Ireland, however, had dominated the game and it was only on Thomas's splendid try that they seemed to be in difficulty.

Ireland started with vigour and Sexton slotted over an early penalty to put them in front after France strayed offside.

Much is expected of 20-year-old full-back Jordan Larmour and 21-year-old winger Jacob Stockdale, who will make their Six Nations debuts today against France at the Stade de France.

"He's very sure of himself under the opponent's kicks, which will be very useful against Ireland", said Brunel, adding that Palis might take the longer penalty kicks. As Kearney admitted, they got out of jail with Sexton's late act.


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