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Ireland v France ratings: Henderson leads by example as Porter shines despite defeat in Dublin

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Ireland's Iain Henderson appears dejected after the Guinness Six Nations defeat to France at the Aviva Stadium (Brian Lawless/PA Wire)

Ireland's Iain Henderson appears dejected after the Guinness Six Nations defeat to France at the Aviva Stadium (Brian Lawless/PA Wire)

PA

Ireland's Iain Henderson appears dejected after the Guinness Six Nations defeat to France at the Aviva Stadium (Brian Lawless/PA Wire)

Ireland's Six Nations hopes look all but over after Andy Farrell's men were beaten 15-13 by Grand Slam chasing France at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Despite the defeat, there were some strong performances in the Ireland team, most notably from captain for the day Iain Henderson, even with a short time off the pitch for a blood injury.

Michael Sadlier takes a look at how the team got on...

Starting XV

Hugo Keenan - 6

Some nice touches and chip and runs but the poor pass to Ringrose in the first half sticks in the memory too. Not much opportunity to attack.

Keith Earls - 6

Cynically tripped by Le Roux which led to France’s yellow card, the long-serving winger was excellent at restarts but sightings of him getting running chances were far too rare.

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Garry Ringrose - 6

Nearly got away a few times but the nature of this game didn’t help when it came to having the ball with space. More about his endeavour than any creativity.

Robbie Henshaw - 6

Mostly about defensive reads really which was a shame and Ireland’s midfield basically ended up being part of the slug-fest rather than being a constant worry to their opponents.

James Lowe - 5

He was desperately unlucky not to score and his booming left boot was a constant though one miscue came at a bad time. The flaws in defence were there again.

Billy Burns - 5

His first penalty strike was horrible and also had the ball stripped from him later on but his tactical kicking was largely on the money before an HIA did for him.

Jamison Gibson-Park - 6

A mixture of the decent and not so memorable. Defensively caught in no-man’s land for France’s first try there were other errors but also a willingness to attack.

Cian Healy - 5

There was no notable carrying as his game away from the set-piece was about knocking blue shirts down. Did a decent job too but then there was that head clash with Henderson.

Rob Herring - 5

There was some really accurate lineout throwing but that missed tackle on Marchand near the line will annoy him though Ireland escaped that time.

Andrew Porter - 7

He skewered Baille at the scrums and put in a huge amount to hitting French players backwards in the tackle. Strong game and could have gone on longer too.

Tadhg Beirne - 7

Not quite as prominent this week as his work took him elsewhere. But there was a trademark jackal on the hour mark as Ireland were on the back foot.

Iain Henderson - 7

As expected the first time skipper led from the front and even came close to scoring a try off a long French throw. Returned after being patched up.

Rhys Ruddock - 6

His extra physicality and lineout work certainly helped but as with Ireland’s overall display, that work-rate alone was never going to be enough to win it.

Josh van der Flier - 5

He never stints in putting his body on the line but his incursions into the game were not dominant enough to help turn the tide in Ireland’s favour.

CJ Stander - 6

You want physicality, well, he’s the man. Like the others, threw himself at it without really clattering too many aside. Also had the ball ripped off him by Fickou.

Replacements

Ross Byrne (for Burns, 41 mins) - 6

Ed Byrne (for Healy, 41-56 mins and 60 mins) - 5

Ultan Dillane (for Henderson, 41-58mins, and Beirne, 72mins) - 5

Ronan Kelleher (for Herring, 55 mins) - 6

Tadhg Furlong (for Porter, 55 mins) - 6

Jordan Larmour (for Earls, 67 mins) - 5

Will Connors (for Van der Flier, 72 mins) - 6

Not used: Craig Casey

Belfast Telegraph


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