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French pack are a real six-hit

Ireland U20 13 France U20 38: A massive French pack brought Ireland's winning start to the Under-20 Six Nations to an abrupt end last night.

The excellent Paddy Jackson gave Ireland a perfect start as early pressure forced the penalty and the Ulsterman made no mistake with the kick from the left inside two minutes.

But once the French pack got on top Ireland struggled and it was all one-way traffic throughout the opening period.

Ireland finished the half strongly with Jackson giving them some hope with a superb penalty from the 10-metre line to leave the score 21-6.

Any hopes of an Irish fightback were blown away inside two minutes after the restart when Marvin O'Connor broke down the left for their fourth try.

Hooker Romain Colliat got their fifth after 53 minutes amid fears of a rout but even at 33-6, Ireland regrouped and rallied.

Captain Niall Annett bulldozed over for a try off a lineout in the left corner but the French got over for a sixth time when centre Jules Plisson crossed at the death.

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Ireland’s women put up a brave fight against their French counterparts before going down 14-12 at Ashbourne.

A late Niamh Briggs try and conversion brought them within touching distance after Niamh Kavanagh had crossed the line in the first-half.

Christelle Chobet scored a try for the visitors, who also slotted three penalties.

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