Belfast Telegraph

Slam Dunk

France 33-10 Ireland

Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris declared Ireland the architects of their own downfall as their defence of the Grand Slam fell apart in Paris.

Ireland’s 33-10 defeat was their first in 12 games and they must now regroup for a tough Twickenham clash with England in two weeks time with the Triple Crown and Six Nations title still a target.

“We're obviously very disappointed,” admitted Ferris.

“We made a lot of mistakes in the first half, France got up a head of steam and they were pretty hard to stop once they got a few points up.

“We started to chase the game a bit, they got in for another couple of scores and they kept kicking over dropped goals which made it very difficult for us to get back into the game.

“If we'd got a score just before half time it might have changed our mindset but that’s rugby and fair play to France. They were fairly clinical and probably deserved their win with the amount of mistakes we made.”

Ireland travel to England in 13 days and Ferris knows there is a lot of work to be done before the Twickenham clash.

“We’ll have to cut out the errors and get back to our game plan,” he insisted.

For the full story, plus reaction and pictures from Paris, see this week's Sunday Life.

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