Women's RWC: Ireland v France

Ireland go in search of victory at Belfield in their bid to claim a semi-final place

John O'Sullivan Thu, Aug 17
LIVE: Women's RWC: Ireland v France

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  • Hello and welcome to the Irish Times live blog of Ireland's pivotal Women's World Cup Pool C match against France in the Belfield Bowl. John O'Sullivan here and I will be taking you through all tonight's action.  

  • If France win, they'll qualify for the semi-finals. If France win with with a four try bonus point and beat Ireland by more than 10 points they jump ahead of England and be number two seeds in the semi-finals. If France win then they will face England in the semi-finals irrespective of the score-line because the second and third seeds face oppose one other.  

    If Ireland win they will qualify for the semi-finals as number three seeds even if France get two match points out of tonight's game because the first criteria to split teams that finish on the same number of points is the result of the pool match. I think that's most of the permutations covered.  


  • The Irish ladies team have plenty of support and not just inside the Bowl.  
  • Here are the teams.


    IRELAND:  Hannah Tyrrell  (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster);  Eimear Considine  (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster),Jenny Murphy  (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster),  Sene Naoupu  (Harlequins FC),  Alison Miller  (Old Belvedere RFC/Connacht);  Nora Stapleton  (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster),  Nicole Cronin  (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster);  Lindsay Peat  (Railway Union RFC/Leinster),  Leah Lyons  (Highfield RFC/Munster),  Ailis Egan  (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster);  Sophie Spence  (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster),  Marie-Louise Reilly  (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster);  Ciara Griffin  (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster).  Claire Molloy  (Bristol RFC/Connacht, capt),  Paula Fitzpatrick  (St Mary’s College RFC/Leinster).  Replacements:  Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union RFC/Leinster), Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians RFC/Connacht), Ciara O’Connor (Galwegians RFC/Connacht), Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke RFC/Ulster), Heather O’Brien (Highfield RFC/Munster), Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union RFC/Ulster), Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster), Louise Galvin (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster).

    FRANCE:  M Amédée; C Pelle, C Ladagnous, E Poublan, S Izar; C Drouin, Y Rivolaen; A Deshayes, G Mignot (capt), J Duval; A Forlani, L Corson; R Ménager, M Mayans, S N’Diaye. Replacements: C Thomas, L Arricastre, P Carricaburu, C Ferer, J Annery, J Le Pesq, C Neisen, C Grassineau.

  • Or if you prefer.
  • France have scored 72 and 48 points in beating Japan and Australia to date while Ireland's margins have been more modest a 19-17 success over the Wallaroos and a 24-14 win against Japan.  
  • Rain was forecast for tonight's match but for the time being it is holding off.  
  • Ireland centre Jenny Murphy getting in the zone.  
  • There is huge support for the Ireland Women's team in the twittersphere.  
  • We're a little over 15 minutes from kickoff and the atmosphere is building nicely.  
  • Just enough time to read Gavin Cummiskey's preview. Now don't all take it to heart he's just being honest. Here are his thoughts.
  • One player who Ireland will be hopeing to keep quite if French wing Shannon Izar. Her surname is Basque translates as 'star.'
  • Another famous fan.
  • There are eight minutes to kickoff.  
  • It's anthem time.  

  • Ireland's Call.  
  • The emotion of the occasion plain to see on the faces of the Irish players.  
  • French outhalf Caroline Drouin gets the game underway.  
  • Great first carry by Ireland captain Claire Molloy. Norah Stapleton clears but doesn't find touch and France rumble back into Irish half.  
  • Ireland number up badly in defence and Audrey Forlani makes a 35-metre break.  
  • France have a scrum eight metres from the Irish line.  
  • The psychology of the first scrum.  
  • France win the penalty, referee Graham Cooper deciding that the Irish frontrow were forced up.  
  • 3 mins: French fullback Monserrat Amedee neither had the distance nor the accuracy from 30 metres. Stapleton with an excellent clearance.  
  • Ireland lose the lineout and Molloy is penalised for not releasing in the tackle. France bring play to just outside the Irish 22.  
  • It's been a nevry start from Ireland. France are offloading in the tackle and looking to move the point of contact. They have found some weak Irish shoulders on the fringes.
  • 6 mins: TRY, French openside Romane Menager crosses half way between the post and the touchline. She demonstrated goot feet and strength but the Irish tackling was brittle.  
  • Amedee adds the conversion.

    Ireland 0 France 7

  • Great run by Menager, beats six tacklers but boy is that very brittle again from Ireland and they compound the passage of play by conceding a penalty, again for not rolling away in the tackle.  
  • France maul the ball into the Irish 22. Two metres from the Irish line. It's all too easy for France. Ireland are defending as individuals arther than collectively. The tackling has been on the back foot and largely ineffective. France are held up over the line but have a five metre scrum.  
  • Ireland players are blowing. They've been defending for 12 minutes.  
  • Two brilliant tackles from Jenny Murphy but it's not enough as Caroline Ladagnous finds a gap and slides over. Ireland's realignment in defence was ponderous and there appears little communication.That was too easy again. France are getting metres too easily.

    TRY:  Ladagnous, conversion, Izar

    14 mins: Ireland 0 France 14

  • France are back in the Irish 22. Wonderful running, quick ruck ball and Irish tacklers at sixes and sevens.  
  • France are able to get outside the Irish defence, they're working the fringes of rucks, they're offloading and the speed of the ruck ball and quality of the support play is very impressive.  
  • France have made 51 carries to Ireland's three and 189 metres to Ireland's five in the first 16 minutes of the match.  
  • An excellent driving maul from a lineout won by Maz Reilly. It's the first bit of positivity in the match and the eventually winning a penalty.  
  • Stapleton nudges Ireland towards the French 22.  
  • Reilly wins the lineout but France don't contest and then Ireland concede the scrum for re-engaging with the French players.  
  • Ireland are very narrow in defence. It's putting huge stress on the defence in the wider channel. Jenny Murphy has made nine tackles already.  
  • Lindsay Peat and Paula Fitzpatrick carry, then Hannah Tyrrell, Murphy and Molloy twice. It's good contnuity and patience.  
  • Ireland though aren't making metres, still outside the French 22 after about 14 phases.  
  • It's a tad predictable and with that Ireland turn over possession.  
  • 23 mins: In summary France have played with athleticism and at speed while Ireland have tried more prosaic tactics. The scoreline is a fair reflection of the game so far.  
  • Anoter sweeping counterattack from France with Amedee racing down the touchline but a handling error and a French player playing the ball in front allows Ireland a relieving penalty.  
  • Beautifully flighted kick from Stapleton who appreciated where the space was on the pitch. France have a lineout 12 metres from their own line. Ireland got no one in the air.  
  • Spence rips the ball away and Ireland are on the attack but a poor attempt to clearout at the ruck leads to a penalty turnover.  
  • TRY: Ladagnous.  
  • Another beautifully crafted French attack including a delightful offload out the back takes play into the Irish 22. Two rucks later and the Irish defence is stretched to breaking point with French centre Ladagnous grabbing a second try of the match. Amedee converts.

    Ireland 0 France 21

  • The French are a joy to watch, playing with a tempo, athleticism and appreciation of creating and exploting space.  
  • Ireland win a scrum penalty but this game is fast disappearing over the horizon from an Irish context. It's difficult to see how they can get back into the game.  
  • The French are winning quick ruck ball with fewer numbers while in contrast Ireland have to send in several players to rescue theirs leaving them at a disadvantage numbers wise further out the pitch. There is also a lethargy to some of Ireland's realignment in defence.  
  • It's six minutes to half-time an interval Ireland desperately need.  
  • Murphy saves Ireland AGAIN with a wonderful covering tackle.  
  • The blue waves are washing over the Irish defence, some of which is very naive.  
  • France have carried over the gainline 55 ties for 383 metres. Says it all really.  
  • Half-time: Ireland 0 France 21