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Six Nations: Ireland snatch defeat from jaws of victory as France edge it 10-9

France 10 - Ireland 9

From Nick Purewal

Published 13/02/2016

France's wing Teddy Thomas (L) fights for the ball with Ireland's fullback Robbie Henshaw during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSONTHOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
France's wing Teddy Thomas (L) fights for the ball with Ireland's fullback Robbie Henshaw during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSONTHOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's fullback Robbie Henshaw (C) is tackled during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSONTHOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
France's fullback Maxime Medard (R) tackles Ireland's fullback Dave Kearney during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSONTHOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
France's fullback Maxime Medard (L) tackles Ireland's fullback Dave Kearney during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSONTHOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
France's fullback Maxime Medard (L) prepares to tackle Ireland's fullback Dave Kearney during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSONTHOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's fly-half Jonathan Sexton holds onto the ball during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSONTHOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
Frances left wing Virimi Vakatawa (L) runs with the ball the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland on February 13, 2016 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's flanker Sean O'Brien lies limps after a shock during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSOTHOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
Frances flanker Wenceslas Lauret (L) vies with Ireland's centre Robbie Henshaw during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland on February 13, 2016 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Frances fly half Jules Plisson kicks a penalty during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland on February 13, 2016 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 13: Jonathan Danty of France is tackled by Jonathan Sexton and Jared Payne of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France on February 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 13: Jonathan Danty of France is tackled by Jonathan Sexton and Jared Payne of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France on February 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 13: Uini Atonio of France is tackled by Robbie Henshaw and Mike McCarthy of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France on February 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 13: Virimi Vakatawa of France is tackled by Rory Best and Conor Murray of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France on February 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 13: Virimi Vakatawa of France is tackled by Rory Best and Conor Murray of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France on February 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Ireland's centre Fergus McFadden (L) tackles Frances tight head prop Uini Atonio (C) during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland on February 13, 2016 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's fly-half Jonathan Sexton (R) prepares to kick a penalty during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSONTHOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
Frances lock Alexandre Flanquart (L) vies with Ireland's Tommy O'Donnell during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland on February 13, 2016 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Frances lock Alexandre Flanquart (L) vies with Ireland's Tommy O'Donnell during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland on February 13, 2016 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's centre Dave Kearney (C) is tackled by Frances hooker and captain Guilhem Guirado during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland on February 13, 2016 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Frances lock Alexandre Flanquart (R) vies with Ireland's lock Mike McCarthy during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland on February 13, 2016 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
France's flanker Wenceslas Lauret (R) tackles Ireland's flanker CJ Stander during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSONTHOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 13: Guilhem Guirado of France is challenged by Jared Payne of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France on February 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 13: Alexandre Flanquart of France is tackled by Tommy O'Donnell of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France on February 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 13: Joe Schmidt the head coach of Ireland looks on prior to kickoff during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France on February 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 13: Teddy Thomas of France is tackled Dave Kearney and Jared Payne of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France on February 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Ireland's centre Dave Kearney (L) and Ireland's wing Jared Payne (R) vies with France's Teddy Thomas during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland on February 13, 2016 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's centre Dave Kearney (L) and Ireland's wing Jared Payne (R) vies with France's Teddy Thomas during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland on February 13, 2016 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Frances flancker Yacouba Camara (C) vies with Ireland's flanker CJ Stander (R) during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland on February 13, 2016 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 13: Sean O'Brien of Ireland lies injured during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France on February 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 13: Sean O'Brien of Ireland leaves the field due to injury during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France on February 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 13: Devin Toner of Ireland wins lineout ball under pressure from Alexandre Flanquart of France during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France on February 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
France's prop Uini Atonio (L) attempts to block a drop shot by Ireland's fly-half Jonathan Sexton during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016.THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's fly-half Jonathan Sexton (3rd L) makes his way during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSONTHOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's fly-half Jonathan Sexton (2nd L) is tackled by France's prop Uini Atonio during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016.THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's prop Nathan White (L), France's wing Teddy Thomas (C) and Ireland's fullback Jared Payne go for the ball during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSONTHOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's prop Nathan White (L), France's wing Teddy Thomas (C) and Ireland's fullback Jared Payne go for the ball during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSONTHOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's scrum half Conor Murray (C) passes the ball during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland on February 13, 2016 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's flanker CJ Stander (C) warms up with his teammates prior to the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSONTHOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's flanker CJ Stander (C) warms up with his teammates prior to the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016.THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 13: Ireland fans enjoy the atmosphere prior to kickoff during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France on February 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 13: A general view of the stadium prior to kickoff during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France on February 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Ireland fans show their support outside the stadium before the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at Stade de France, Paris. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday February 13, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU France. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Ireland fans show their support outside the stadium before the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at Stade de France, Paris. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 13: A general view of the stadium prior to kickoff during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France on February 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
An Ireland fan shows his support outside the stadium before the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at Stade de France, Paris. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday February 13, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU France. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Armed police patrol the concourse inside the stadium perimeter before the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at Stade de France, Paris. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.
Ireland fans enjoy the atmosphere prior to kickoff during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France on February 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 13: A general view of the stadium prior to kickoff during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France on February 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Ireland saw their RBS 6 Nations title slipping away after a 10-9 defeat to France, punished in Paris for poor scrummaging and wasting a host of half-chances.

Maxime Medard's late try snatched victory, Jules Plisson landing the vital conversion as France secured their second straight win under Guy Noves.

Ireland failed to fend off France's deliberate ploy of unleashing big-scrummaging props Rabah Slimani and Eddy Ben Arous from the bench and lost Mike McCarthy, Dave Kearney and Sean O'Brien to injury.

Joe Schmidt's men let a second successive victory in France for the first time in 89 years slip through their fingers, unable to capitalise on early dominance and severely battered at the scrum in the second half.

Captain Rory Best had promised Ireland would not be "caught cold" at the scrum as in last weekend's 16-16 draw with Wales.

Ireland coped well enough in the first half but had no answer to France's impact front-row replacements.

The visitors knew what was coming but without the injured Marty Moore, and with Cian Healy and Mike Ross still working their way back to fitness, were too depleted in the front row to cope.

France bludgeoned Ireland with four successive five-metre scrums after Damien Chouly was denied a try in a defining final quarter.

Once Les Bleus opted not to chase a pushover or penalty score, full-back Medard cut a neat and tight line off Plisson and scooted under the posts.

Plisson posted the conversion, France led for the first time with 10 minutes to play, and they comfortably kept control until the final whistle.

Ireland's Jonathan Sexton leaves the field after being substituted during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin against Dublin.
Ireland's Jonathan Sexton leaves the field after being substituted during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin against Dublin.
Ireland's full back Simon Zebo (L) is tackled by Wales' centre Jamie Roberts during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's Sean Cronin (C) is tackled during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Gareth Davies of Wales passes the ball during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Tom James of Wales is tackled by Keith Earls and Jared Payne of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Tom James of Wales is tackled by Keith Earls and Jared Payne of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Tom James of Wales is tackled by Keith Earls and Jared Payne of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Rhys Priestland of Wales kicks at goal during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: George North of Wales is tackled by Ian Madigan and Robbie Henshaw of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: George North of Wales charges upfield during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Joe Schmidt the head coach of Ireland watches over his team's pre match warm up during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Joe Schmidt the head coach of Ireland watches over his team's pre match warm up during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jonathan Sexton of Ireland is tackled by Alun Wyn Jones and Rob Evans of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Joe Schmidt the head coach of Ireland watches over his team's pre match warm up during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Liam Williams of Wales makes a break during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Conor Murray of Ireland passes the ball during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Gareth Davies of Wales passes the ball during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jonathan Davies of Wales is challenged by Jonathan Sexton of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Rhys Priestland of Wales clears the ball during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jamie Heaslip of Ireland charges upfield during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: George North of Wales looks on during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Devin Toner of Ireland is tackled by Samson Lee and Gethin Jenkins of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium at Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Devin Toner of Ireland is tackled by Samson Lee and Gethin Jenkins of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium at Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Devin Toner of Ireland wins lineout ball under pressure from Alun Wyn Jones of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Andrew Trimble of Ireland (l) and Liam Williams of Wales battle for the ball during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium at Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Rhys Priestland of Wales kicks a penalty during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium at Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Devin Toner of Ireland wins lineout ball under pressure from Alun Wyn Jones of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium at Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Ireland's Jonathan Sexton prepares to kick a penalty during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
Ireland's Jonathan Sexton kicks a penalty during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
Ireland's Dave Kearney (left) and Wales' George North compete for a high ball during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: George North of Wales is tackled by Ian Madigan (l) and Robbie Henshaw of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium at Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Wales' Lloyd Williams (L) passes the ball during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Wales' Lloyd Williams passes the ball during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jonathan Sexton of Ireland in action during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium at Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Simon Zebo of Ireland breaks through the tackles from Jamie Roberts and Alun Wyn Jones of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Tom James of Wales in action during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium at Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Ireland's prop Jack McGrath (L) tackles Wales' Bradley Davies during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jonathan Sexton of Ireland in action during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium at Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Simon Zebo of Ireland takes on Jonathan Davies of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jonathan Sexton of Ireland in action during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium at Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Andrew Trimble of Ireland looks to pass as George North of Wales closes in during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: George North of Wales in action during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium at Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: George North of Wales in action during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium at Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Ireland's full back Simon Zebo (C) is tackled by Wales' centre Jonathan Davies (R) during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: George North of Wales in action during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium at Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: (EDITOR'S NOTE: Image was created as an Equirectangular Panorama. Import image into a panoramic player to create an interactive 360 degree view.) The teams enter the arena ahead of the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: (EDITOR'S NOTE: Image was created as an Equirectangular Panorama. Import image into a panoramic player to create an interactive 360 degree view.) The teams line up ahead of the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Devin Toner of Ireland wins lineout ball under pressure from Alun Wyn Jones of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium at Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Ireland's full back Simon Zebo (L) is tackled by Wales' centre Jamie Roberts during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's full back Simon Zebo (L) is tackled by Wales' centre Jamie Roberts during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's Sean Cronin (C) is tackled during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Gareth Davies of Wales passes the ball during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Liam Williams of Wales takes on Keith Earls of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Ireland's Andrew Trimble (centre left) is tackled Wales' Taulupe Faletau during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Devin Toner of Ireland wins lineout ball under pressure from Alun Wyn Jones of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Wales' Taulupe Faletau (right) is tackled by Ireland's Jack McGrath during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
Wales' Tom James (right) is tackled by Ireland's Keith Earls during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
Wales' Jonathan Davies hands off Ireland's CJ Stander during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
Ireland's Johnny Sexton and Wales' Rob Evans during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Andrew Trimble of Ireland is tackled by Justin Tipuric of Wales adfter carrying the ball over his own tryline during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Andrew Trimble of Ireland is tackled by Justin Tipuric of Wales adfter carrying the ball over his own tryline during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Wales' George North is tackled by Ireland's CJ Stander (left) and Rory Best during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
Wales' Liam Williams and Ireland's Andrew Trimble (left) during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
TOPSHOT - Wales' number 8 Taulupe Faletau (C) scores his team's first try during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Wales' Tom James during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
Wales' George North is tackled by Ireland's Rory Best during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Liam Williams of Wales is dumped by Keith Earls of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jamie Roberts of Wales is tackle by Jack McGrath and CJ Stander of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Liam Williams of Wales is dumped by Keith Earls of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jonathan Davies of Wales hands off CJ Stander of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Welsh rugby fans wait in the stands ahead of the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Welsh rugby fans wait in the stands ahead of the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's hooker Rory Best (C) warms up with team mates ahead of the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
The Irish team huddle on the pitch ahead of the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland head coach Joe' Schmidt (centre) gives a pre match team talk during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Wales fans enjoy the pre match atmosphere during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Ireland's hooker Rory Best (2L) warms up with teammates ahead of the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Wales fans enjoy the pre match atmosphere during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jonathan Sexton of Ireland kicks a penalty during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jamie Heaslip of Ireland is wrapped up by Luke Charteris and Alun Wyn Jones of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jonathan Sexton of Ireland kicks a penalty during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Ireland's Jamie Heaslip (centre) is tackled by Wales' Alun Wyn Jones (right) and Luke Charteris during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jamie Heaslip of Ireland is wrapped up by Luke Charteris and Alun Wyn Jones of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jamie Heaslip of Ireland is wrapped up by Luke Charteris and Alun Wyn Jones of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Ireland's Connor Murray (left) is tackled by Wales' Scott Baldwin during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Simon Zebo of Ireland is hauled down by Jonathan Davies of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jamie Heaslip of Ireland is tackled by Luke Charteris and Sam Warburton of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jamie Heaslip of Ireland is tackled by Luke Charteris and Sam Warburton of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Ireland's Jamie Heaslip (centre) is tackled by Wales' Alun Wyn Jones (right) and Luke Charteris during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
Ireland's Andrew Trimble (centre) is tackled by Wales' Alun Wyn Jones (right) during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: CJ Stander of Ireland is tackled by Sam Warburton of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jamie Heaslip of Ireland hands off Sam Warburton of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: CJ Stander of Ireland is tackled by Sam Warburton of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Ireland's Kieran Marmion (right) is tackled by Wales' Justin Tipuric during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jamie Heaslip of Ireland hands off Sam Warburton of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Ireland's Kieran Marmion (centre) is tackled by Wales' Justin Tipuric during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
Ireland's Nathan White (left) is tackle by Wales' Samson Lee during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: (L-R) Rory Best and Jack McGrath of Ireland line up for the national anthems prior to kickoff during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Ireland's Jonathan Sexton in kicking action during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jonathan Sexton of Ireland is hauled down by Rob Evans of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: The injured Dan Biggar of Wales leaves the pitch midway through the first half during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: The injured Dan Biggar of Wales leaves the pitch midway through the first half during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: The injured Dan Biggar of Wales leaves the pitch midway through the first half during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Wales' Liam Williams (centre) is tackled by Ireland's Andrew Trimble (left) during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: The injured Dan Biggar of Wales leaves the pitch midway through the first half during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Conor Murray of Ireland crashes through the tackle from Justin Tipuric of Wales to score the opening try during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Conor Murray of Ireland crashes through the tackle from Justin Tipuric of Wales to score the opening try during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Ireland's Conor Murray (centre right) scores a try during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Liam Williams of Wales receives treatment following a tackle by Keith Earls (R) of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Wales' Tom James is tackled by Ireland's CJ Stander during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Liam Williams of Wales receives treatment following a tackle by Keith Earls (R) of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Wales' Dan Biggar (left) and Ireland's Conor Murray battle for a high ball during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Liam Williams (R) of Wales looks on during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Ireland's Jamie Heaslip (bottom right) is tackled by Wales' Jonathan Davies (right) during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
Wales' wing George North (C) vies with Ireland's centre Jared Payne (R) during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's Mike McCarthy wins a lineout during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
Ireland's wing Andrew Trimble (C) vies with Wales' lock Alun Wyn Jones (L) and Wales' wing Tom James during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Robbie Henshaw of Ireland is tackled by Jamie Roberts of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Wales' Gareth Davies loses control of the ball during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Robbie Henshaw of Ireland is tackled by Jonathan Davies (L) and Jamie Roberts (R) of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Ireland's Jared Payne (centre) is tackled by Wales' Jonathan Davies and Rhys Priestland (right) during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
Wales' number 8 Taulupe Faletau (C) scores his team's first try during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Wales' Tom James during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
Wales' number 8 Taulupe Faletau (C) scores his team's first try during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Wales' Taulupe Faletau scores a try during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
Wales' number 8 Taulupe Faletau (C) scores his team's first try during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: George North of Wales is challenged by Jared Payne of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Ireland's Simon Zebo and Wales' Dan Biggar during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Liam Williams of Wales takes on Jamie Heaslip of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Wales' Justin Tipuric tackled by Ireland's CJ Stander (right) and Jamie Heaslip during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
Wales' wing George North (L) and Wales' number 8 Taulupe Faletau (C) vie against Ireland's wing Andrew Trimble during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on February 7, 2016. / AFP / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland and Wales' players walk out during the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Taulupe Faletau of Wales forces his way over the lineto score his team's first try during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 07: Taulupe Faletau of Wales forces his way over the lineto score his team's first try during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Ireland and Wales players lineup to sing the national anthems before the 2016 RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 7, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS APPLY: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring. For further information please call +44 (0)115 8447447.

And so Ireland's attempt at an unprecedented third consecutive Six Nations title is most likely at an end.

France are far from convincing under new boss Noves, and were certainly vulnerable in a listless first half. But somehow Les Bleus are now two from two, following their sterile 23-21 victory over Italy in their first game.

Ireland will be left to count the injury toll once again, O'Brien appearing to suffer a serious knee problem while Dave Kearney picked up a nasty shoulder injury.

Mike McCarthy was removed from the field on a stretcher in a neck brace after a head collision with team-mate Jack McGrath, and Sexton was withdrawn late on with a potential head injury.

Sexton's three penalties had proved scant reward for Ireland's first-half dominance, which later crumbled so spectacularly.

Lock Paul Jedrasiak vowed Les Bleus would "bleed for the shirt" in advance, and France set about rough-house tactics at every turn from the outset.

Yoann Maestri's shoulder-first ruck clear-out on Sexton and Guilhem Guirado's late, high tackle on Dave Kearney could well interest the tournament's citing commissioners next week.

Referee Jaco Peyper was happy to let both go with little censure, Maestri only penalised and Guirado escaping any punishment.

Ireland wasted at least five tangible try-scoring chances in a sloppy first half but turned around 9-3 ahead thanks to Sexton's boot.

First they lost a lineout in Les Bleus' 22 before Robbie Henshaw knocked on deep in French territory.

Rob Kearney was turned over at a ruck, and then Jared Payne wasted a fine chance by refusing to set Andrew Trimble down the right flank.

O'Brien was penalised for holding on before trudging out of the action and then Ireland spilled the ball five metres from France's line.

Plisson struck France's sole penalty of the first half, failing with another attempt off the tee and also with a shanked drop-goal effort but converting when it mattered late on.

Read more:

Six Nations: Rory Best backs Sexton to dish out Paris agony

Six Nations: Andrew Trimble fit to be the king of France once again

Six Nations: Rory Best is urging Ireland to fly out of the traps  

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