MATCH GRADE: A
To recover from losing talismanic players in the form of Paul O’Connell and Johnny Sexton and bounce back the way they did will rank as one of their greatest-ever performances. However, if O’Connell and Sexton are ruled out for the rest of the tournament, it could prove fatal to Ireland's hopes of going much further.
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1- Sean O’Brien
A monumental performance at the back of the scrum, winning turnovers aplenty, making yardage and tackling his heart out. May yet be cited for an early punch on Pascal Pape.
2- Jamie Heaslip
In partnership with O’Brien, Ireland dominated the breakdown against a formidable French scrum on paper.
3- Ian Madigan
Stepped in to fill the shoes of Johnny sexton with an excellent performance that may be the making of him.
BAD DAY - Keith Earls
Harsh to single out any Irish player on an excellent day for the side but luckily his dropped pass in the first half didn’t make a difference. Taken off injured.
IRELAND COACH JOE SCHMIDT
I’m incredibly proud of the character shown. We clawed our way forward, we clung on and managed to score those two second half tries which were really the difference.
- This win is Ireland’s biggest win over France since 1975 when they won 25-6, it's their 4th biggest winning margin of all time against France.
- This was only the 2nd time that France have failed to score a try in a RWC pool stage game (v Argentina in 2007).
- This game saw the lowest scoring first half in matches between these sides since 2001.
- Rob Kearney became the 4th Irish player to score a try in three consecutive RWC games.
- Conor Murray is the first Irish scrum-half to score a RWC try against a Tier One Nation.
- This was Ireland’s first ever RWC win over France, Les Bleus had won all three Rugby World Cup games between the two sides with each win coming by 22+ points.
- Ireland have topped their World Cup pool for the second consecutive campaign, this after failing to top a Pool at the six World Cups before that.
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