Ireland 15-56 France: Women’s Six Nations – as it happened

Last modified: 03: 54 PM GMT+0

France proved too strong for spirited hosts in the Pool B decider as they booked their place in next week’s final against England

Ireland 15-56 France

France set up a Women’s Six Nations final against fierce rivals England with victory in Dublin. Winger Caroline Boujard followed her hat-trick against Wales with a double as Annick Hayraud’s side proved too strong in the Pool B decider.

Fellow French backs Emilie Boulard and Cyrielle Banet crossed over in the first half, with Safi N’Diaye and a penalty try giving the visitors a 38-8 half-time lead. Ireland found some success through their forward line, with Cliodhna Moloney going over from a maul, adding to Hannah Tyrrell’s early penalty.

Replacement Romane Menager got France’s sixth try with a thrilling solo run, before Pauline Bourdon set up Banet’s second as France pulled away. There was time for a late Irish consolation, Emma Hooban going over to narrow the final deficit.

So that’s it for the action in this match, join me for another Women’s Six Nations match as Scotland take on Italy.


Ireland captain Ciara Griffin

‘We won’t lie it is a disappointed dressing. As I say to the girls recover for next week starts now.

‘I can’t agree with the term one-sided, we fought. This group is the last to feel sorry for ourselves, we have a big summer ahead.

‘Third place is to what we are aiming for. If we reduce and limit those errors it’ll make it easier for us next week.’

Ireland head coach Adam Griggs

‘We knew it was going to be a challenge and we didn’t help ourselves. Their first two tries came form mistakes on our behalf.

‘I think this group will do better with the more games we get. We had to work really hard in the contact area which takes it out of you.

‘This team is on a journey and we look forward to next week.’

France head coach Annick Hayraud

‘There’s a lot of satisfaction here. We were surprised by the score, the first ten minutes we found it hard to get into the match.

‘The next step is a higher step, England are more difficult.’

Player of the Match Marjorie Mayans

‘We expected a big team, we prepared really well. We didn’t expect such a score it was a surprise.’

On England: ‘We’re going to prepare exactly the same but we still have a week to prepare, we will be ready.’

France’s Marjorie Mayans wins a line out.
France’s Marjorie Mayans wins a line out. Photograph: Bryan Keane/INPHO/Shutterstock


Full-time: Ireland 15-56 France

A clinical but not perfect performance from France sees them bag a spot in the Women’s Six Nations final next week against England.

Ireland conceded 20 penalties in the match which was the downfall for the hosts today. When they had ball in hand they looked dangerous but they just couldn’t finish off many opportunities.

This sets up a huge match next week between France and their rivals England.

79 min: A hugely powerful scrum sees France win back the ball. Diallo sets them off to build a try from halfway.


78 min: France’s scrum works well again as they look to close out this match in attack.

However, another knock-on. France’s play hasn’t been perfect this afternoon and they have forced a lot of errors. Ireland scrum.


77 min: France’s Marjorie Mayans has been named Player of the Match.


77 min: The Irish line-out goes awry and then possession exchanges hands quickly.


76 min: Ireland win another penalty as France don’t roll away. Griffin chips and chases but it bounces into touch, Ireland line-out.


TRY! Ireland 15-56 France

74 min: Ireland’s line-out is good and they form a maul to send Hooban to crash over.

A good reward for their attacking play throughout the match. Flood converts.


73 min: France are ruled offside and Flood kicks to the corner. Can Ireland get their second try here?


There is a lot of talk in commentary about the gap between these teams.

It is good to note that the French players have had more consistent playing time throughout the pandemic and the visitors are in a semi-professional set-up.

TRY! Ireland 8-56 France

France run the ball off the back of the scrum and Banet goes over. Drouin doesn’t convert.

The visitors have now scored more points against Ireland than they did against Wales.


70 min: Griffin rejoins her team for the scrum. Great to see her remain on the pitch.


70 min: Ireland’s captain Griffin is down injured, hopefully this isn’t too bad!


70 min: France win a penalty at the scrum in a tale so familiar in this match. Ireland get a foot hold and then it is ripped away by France.


69 min: A break in play as players receive medical attention. A good breather in this tense clash!


69 min: Ireland do really well to fend off France there as they set up a powerful counter-ruck. The hosts kick on to gain territory but it goes dead.


67 min: What great defence from Flood! Traore was in possession after clinical offloads but Flood gets her body position perfect to turn the ball over.


66 min: Another momentum swing here in France’s favour as they play with an extra player. The tempo of the ball through the hands is lightning pace to cause dangerous attack.


Penalty! Ireland 8-51 France

Drouin converts a penalty after Murphy Crowe gets sin binned on her 15s debut.

She was high on Boujard but she doesn’t have the force to be a red.

The TMO are looking to see if Murphy Crowe committed a high tackle on Boujard. Will there be a card here?

65 min: France were back in attack and they gain another penalty as Ireland didn’t roll away.


64 min: Wow, that was a huge break from Drouin!

Ireland do well to turn the ball over as Considine was left in a one on one with Banet.

63 min: France are once again back in possession as Ireland collapse the scrum. These errors have cost the hosts the match, they were much more clinical and cohesive against Wales.


62 min: More changes for France: Deshaye and Neiesen is off and Vernier and Traore on.


62 min: Unfortunately for Ireland they knock it on just as they were displaying their best attacking phases of the match.

France are clinical in attack and defence at the moment.


61 min: Ireland win a penalty after solid attacking phases. They take the ball quickly through Flood.


60 min: France knock on but play goes on as Ireland collect quickly. They do need to score soon if they want to close the gap on France.


59 min: France go early at the scrum and Ireland kicks upfield. France collect and look to build from their own half.


59 min: More changes for Ireland. Peat and Moloney off and Hooban and O’Dwyer on.


57 min: Hogan knocks on in the attacking play from the restart. France kick to corner.


TRY! Ireland 8-48 France

What a well worked team try from France!

They move the ball through the hands off of the back of the line-out which sends sub Menager over. Drouin misses the conversion.


55 min: France subs as Sansus aand Hermet are off and Bourdon and Diallo is on. The visitors are building in attack here now...


54 min: The line-out isn’t clean and France regain possession. Ireland need to nip these small mistakes in the bud and they’d be in the mix.


53 min: More Ireland changes as Flood and Lane come on. Ireland win a penalty at the scrum to gain some territory.


53 min: Ireland are having small spells with ball in hand where they look cohesive but France’s defence is up so fast and hard it’s difficult for them to get a hold of the match.


52 min: France have also made some changes

They take off Gros and Bernadou for Menager and Joyeux

51 min: Ireland’s attack was fast and agile with Parsons adding an edge. The ball ends up with Peat but Neisen pushes her into touch.


50 min: Ireland are on the attack now and win a penalty to kick to the corner. They also make changes as McDermott and Delany come off for Hogan and Murphy Crowe.


TRY! Ireland 8-43 France

France kept knocking on the door and then Sansus sees a gap and feeds Boujard to score.

Drouin misses conversion.


46 min: France form a maul but Peat does well to collapse it legally.

France go again and are just a few metres out.


45 min: The scrum is reset but the second attempt is good! Boujard makes a huge break as Ireland leave themselves short on the outside.

Considine goes in with a high tackle and so France kick to corner.

44 min: There was a break in play for players to receive some attention but as they get back underway Ireland’s line-out isn’t straight.

France scrum.

43 min: Boulard goes off feet and so Ireland win a penalty. a great win there for Ireland as France started to go through the gears.

42 min: The ball exchanges hands a lot but France end up with possession.

They look to continue their dominance from the first half and they win another penalty.

41 min: France are hugely powerful at the scrum to win a penalty!

They kick upfield.

40 min: France knock on at the restart and so the second half starts as the first did with an Irish scrum.

Back underway!

Kick off in this second half, France lead 3-38

As it stands England will face France in the Women’s Six Nations final.

Ireland have a lot to do in the second half to beat France, but in rugby you never know!

Half-time Ireland 8-38 France

Despite a promising start to the match Ireland are left 30 points down at half-time.

The French started nervously but they have found their feet to run in five tries before the break. Adam Griggs’ team will have to do a lot if they want to win this match to head to the final.

40 min: Considine puts boot to ball but it goes out to send the teams to half-time

39 min: Just one minute left of this half and France have completely dominated Ireland so far!

Can the hosts close it out with some points?


TRY! Ireland 8-38 France

Great play from Banet as she rips the ball and runs it in for France’s fifth try of the afternoon!

Drouin converts.

37 min: Ireland were building promising attack play but again they give away a penalty.

France now looking for their fifth of the afternoon.


36 min: The line-out wasn’t straight and so Ireland get a penalty and opt for a line-out

36 min: The kicking game comes into play in the closing stages of the first half.

It ends in a French line-out in Ireland’s half.

TRY! Ireland 8-31 France

France have their bonus-point score. They were patient there as they had to keep resetting their play.

N’Diaye crashes over eventually with the conversion added. France are starting to close out this match before half-time.

33 min: France are on the attack just a few metres out from their line.

This is dangerous for Ireland who need to silence the play.

32 min: McDermott is back on the pitch after receiving a yellow for collapsing a mail.

32 min: Possession switches hands quickly in the restart but Ireland end up in the better position.

However, they give away yet another penalty. Ireland need to clean up their discipline if they are to get back into this one.

Penalty! Ireland 8-24 France

Drouin hits a clear kick to extend the hosts lead in Dublin

29 min: France earn a penalty, they take it quickly but they force a penalty.

Cox comes back to another penalty, France point to the sticks

28 min: Ireland are in possession from that restart and they seem to have shaken the nerves they had in the early stages.

TRY! Ireland 8-21 France

A well worked maul from Ireland sees Moloney score.

Tyrrell doesn’t converts.

They are back in the match here if they keep this going!

26 min: Considine made a huge break but she lost the ball when she was tackled.

France run through the phases but then they are caught off their feet and so Ireland kick to corner.

24 min: The line-out is reset here after referee Sara Cox isn’t happy.

France then hit the ball out and so there’s another Irish line-out.

23 min: France are offside from the restart and so Ireland have a penalty.

Tyrrell kicks to the corner.

TRY! Ireland 3-21 France

A penalty try is awarded to France as McDermott brings down the maul. She receives a yellow card for the offence.

21 min: Ireland are offside and France kick to the corner.

Will France get a hat-trick before 30 minutes?

20 min: The restart results in France kicking into their own half with the ball ending in the in-goal area.

Ireland restart from their 22.

TRY! Ireland 3-14 France

Unbelievable score for France as Sansus kicks the ball upfield and collects her own kick.

What individual skill!

Drouin converts


Has France scored again here? If they have the tip of the hat needs to go to Sansus after a tremendous break.


17 min: Ireland are now on the attack after a good line-out.

Can they find their first try here?

16 min: France’s line-out works well again as they set up another attack.

But France come in at the side and so Ireland win a penalty.

15 min: The momentum swing is in France’s direction as they win a penalty off of the restart.

Boujard kicks to touch, France line-out to come.

TRY! Ireland 3-7 France


What a well worked try for France. Their scrum was perfect and they just worked the ball through the hands for Boujard to score.

Drouin converts.


12 min: Ireland then knock-on!

So many mistakes from both sides at the moment and neither has found their feet in this match yet.

11 min: Ireland win another penalty after France knock on and Tyrrell kicks to touch.

A stable and steady starts from Ireland so far.

10 min: Now France are having trouble at the line-out and Ireland pick up the ball.

Ireland then knock-on but they were playing an advantage. They come back to the earlier penalty, Ireland scrum


9 min: Ireland line-out is good! They were building attack from their own half but they don’t release the ball and so France earn a penalty.

8 min: Ireland win another penalty at the scrum! This is a huge bonus for the hosts as France pride themselves at the scrum.

Ireland don’t find touch with their kick but Boujard is turfed into touch.

6 min: The attack ends in another knock-on from Drouin. Ireland scrum.

Ireland’s Sene Naoupu is tackled by Carla Neisen of France.
Ireland’s Sene Naoupu is tackled by Carla Neisen of France. Photograph: Bryan Keane/INPHO/Shutterstock


6 min: France retaliate quickly with fast attack and they look dangerous with ball in hand.

Penalty! Ireland 3-0 France

A clean and clinical kick for Tyrrell sees the hosts have an early lead.

4 min: The scrum is good but a loose pass sees Ireland turn over the ball! They run through the phases and earn a penalty.

Tyrrell points at the sticks

3 min: The line-out wasn’t straight and so France win a penalty who opt for a scrum.

2 min: The scrum was reset a few times but the third attempt was good for Ireland who win a penalty as Deshaye brings it down.

Tyrrell kicks to touch, Ireland line-out.

1 min: The first touch of the game from Gros ends in a knock-on. Ireland scrum and an ideal start for the hosts

Kick off!

The clash is underway at Energia Park.

Who will come away with the victory and a chance to win the Women’s Six Nations?

A win or a draw will be enough to see France through but Ireland need a win here to go through.

There’s a moment’s silence for rugby against racism with the anthems following shortly..

The Ireland team during the national anthems.
The Ireland team during the national anthems. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO/Shutterstock


Teams are coming out to the pitch.

Just a few minutes to go until this fixture kicks off.

Less than 15 minutes away from this fixture kicking off!

The particular battles to watch today will be at fly-half as last week’s Player of the Match Hannah Tyrrell will be up against France’s Caroline Drouin.

And it’s set to be a hugely physical battle in the front row as Lindsay Peat, Cliodhna Moloney and Linda Djougang go up against Annaelle Deshaye, Agathe Sochat and Rose Bernadou.

Ireland are aware of the challenge ahead but last week’s 45-0 win over Wales have invigorated them to aim for victory.

Head coach Adam Griggs said: “France are fourth in the world, it’s exciting to see where we’re at on our journey and how we match up.

“A good start last week has given us confidence that we can cause an upset.”

There’s under half an hour to go until this tense match gets underway.

The question of whether the match would go ahead this week was raised due to Ireland’s Covid restrictions. However, the Irish government viewed France’s team as elite and so the fixture is going ahead.

Who will join England in the final?

Whoever wins the match this afternoon will play England in the final of the Women’s Six Nations next week.

Due to Covid restrictions, the tournament is not being played as it usually would and it is following the men’s Autumn Nations Cup.

Ireland have named an unchanged starting XV from their win over Wales last week which isn’t surprising after they put on such a dominant performance.

Star scorers Beibhinn Parsons and Eimear Considine will be key in the match but it will also be interesting to so how Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe goes. The sevens international and prolific scorer could win her first 15s cap as she starts from the bench.

While there’s huge change for France as they have made eight changes to their starting squad. Most significantly, there’s a new half-back partnership with Caroline Drouin and Laure Sansus and an all new centre pairing with Carla Neisen and Jade Ulutule.


Ireland: Considine; Delany, Higgins, Naoupu, Parsons; Tyrrell, Dane; Peat, Moloney, Djougang, McDermott, Fryday, Wall, Molloy, Griffin.

Replacements: Hooban, O’Dwyer, Feely, Hogan, O’Connor, Lane, Flood, Murphy Crowe.

France: Boulard; Boujard, Neisen, Ulutule, Banet; Drouin, Sansus; Deshaye, Sochat, Bernadou, Fall, N’Diaye, Mayans, Hermet, Gros.

Replacements: Touye, Traore, Joyeux, Diallo, Menager, Bourdon, Peyronnet, Vernier.


Ireland’s clash against France this afternoon is set to be a nail-biter as the victor will face England in the Women’s Six Nations final.

The Red Roses secured their spot after topping Pool A following victories over Scotland and Italy. However, Pool B has not been so clean cut as both Ireland and France have defeated Wales with bonus-point wins. This means the top of the pool is up for grabs.

France will be favourites heading into the match due to previous results. The two teams didn’t play each other in the 2020 tournament due to Covid restrictions, but France defeated Ireland 47-17 in 2019 and 24-0 in 2018.

However, France should not underestimate Ireland following last week’s clinical performance. It was Adam Griggs’ team’s first match in six months but it didn’t show as they dominated Wales to earn the bonus-point before half-time.

The match is set to be a thriller and a great display of women’s rugby. The action at Energia Park kicks off at 2.15pm BST.


Sarah Rendell

The GuardianTramp

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