Ireland, strewn with errors, does not shoot against France

Ireland suffered their second defeat of TikTok’s Women’s Six Nations after an error-strewn performance against France in Toulouse.

Promised to fight, Greg McWilliams’ side were unable to deliver a significant punch to their opponents.

And the tally of 15 handling errors in the first half told its own story, with many of those errors coming under little pressure from the hosts.

The scrum fell back and the line-out was a complete mess as France, who operate on a professional basis, wrapped up a bonus point in the first half.

The hosts added two more touchdowns in the second half, with Eve Higgins’ try the only bright spot for Ireland on a trying day.

France were leading 3-0 when Higgins looked to have put Ireland on the board in the ninth minute by finishing under the posts after a nice offload from Sam Monaghan.

However, TMO stepped in to send him off after an off-the-ball tackle from Dorothy Wall.

Two minutes later, France scored their first try, winger Mélissande Llorens diving past Eimear Considine’s tackle to score from the corner.

Caroline Drouin added another penalty as Ireland continued to infringe and scrum-half Laure Sansus quickly grabbed a second down from a five-yard scrum.

Handling errors and a lack of platform continued to sap Ireland’s hopes and France strikers Audrey Forlani and Clara Joyeux grabbed two more tries, both after consulting TMO, before the break to make sure the bonus point.

The second half started with another handling error and Beibhinn Parsons, who had come on at the break, awarded a penalty for a high tackle.

Les Bleues kept the pressure on and Sansus picked up his second eight minutes.

It made it 33-0 and was followed by Ireland’s best spell of the match, which culminated in a super try from Higgins.

Almost every player got involved as the visitors worked the ball from their own 10-yard line into the opposition 22. Higgins dodged Sansus and ran under the posts but Cronin missed the simple conversion.

Ireland, who had talked about mixing their open mark with a more structured game in the build-up, continued to make life difficult for themselves and when Parsons struck near their own line, France, who dominated the scrum, had a platform from which sent full-back Emilie Boulard, who was condemned for a high challenge on Higgins in injury time, for her sixth down.

Ireland’s next game is against Italy at Musgrave Park on Sunday 10 April.

France: Emilie Boulard; Cyrielle Banet, Maëlle Filopon, Gabrielle Vernier, Mélissande Llorens; 10. Caroline Drouin, Laure Sansus; 1. Coco Lindelauf, Laure Touyé, Clara Joyeux; Madoussou Fall, Audrey Forlani; Axelle Berthomieu, Gaëlle Hermet (captain), Romane Ménager.

Replacements: Célia Domain, Annaëlle Deshayes, Assia Khalfaoui, Céline Ferer, Julie Annery, Alexandra Chambon, Jessy Trémoulière, Chloé Jacquet.

Ireland: Eimear Considine; Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Eve Higgins, Stacey Flood, Lucy Mulhall; Nicole Cronin, Aoibheann Reilly; Linda Djougang, Neve Jones, Katie O’Dwyer, Nichola Fryday (captain), Sam Monaghan; Dorothy Wall, Edel McMahon, Brittany Hogan

Replacements: Emma Hooban, Chloe Pearse, Christy Hanley, Anna McGann, Hannah O’Connor, Kathryn Dane, Enya Breen, Beibhinn Parsons.

Arbitrator: Aimee Barrett-Theron (SA)

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