France beat Ireland in rugby world cup warm up

France started their Rugby World Cup warm up campaign with a 19-12 victory over Ireland in Bordeaux.

Ireland have now played two World Cup warm up matches and lost both.

France led Ireland 13-3 at half-time but Ireland were a much improved team in the second half which they won 6-9.

France scored the only try of the match through Vincent Clerc with Dimitri Yachvili
and Ronan O’Gara kicking the remainder of their teams’ points in a game where
14 replacements were made.

“We wanted to win our last match in France before the World Cup and we
wanted the game to give us an idea as to the work which we still need to do,”
said France coach Marc Lievremont.

“In the first part of the match I saw a lot of things that I liked —
the intensity, the quality of the rugby we produced, in the fundamentals and
the defence.”

Ireland coach Declan Kidney was disappointed that his team only came alive
after the break when they briefly closed the gap to 13-12.

“We started badly and put ourselves under pressure by not knowing how
to keep the ball,” he said.

“We have a lot of work to do ahead of the next match (against France in
Dublin next weekend). The French played well but not us. We have to understand
that we cannot play for just half the match; we have to play the full 80 minutes.”

France dominated the first half on a sultry evening in Bordeaux as Ireland,
showing nine changes from the team defeated 10-6 by Scotland last week, struggled
to find any rhythm against a side who had spent the last two months in training.

Yachvili kicked the first points early in the game before full-back Damien
Traille went wide with a drop goal attempt.

France deservedly grabbed the opening try in the 17th minute after a flowing,
well-rehearsed crossfield move.

Impressive Toulon winger Alexis Palisson spread the ball to centre Maxime Mermoz
whose sharp pass allowed Clerc, who underwent surgery on a ruptured Achilles
tendon just two weeks ago, to burst through and score.

It was the Toulouse winger’s 25th international try.

Yachvili added the conversion before the scrum-half knocked over another penalty.

Ireland at least got on the board just before the interval when veteran fly-half
O’Gara succeeded with a penalty after a rare foray into the French half to make
the score 13-3.

The only worry for France at half-time was the sight of Mermoz, who was playing
for the first time since injuring his shoulder in the Six Nations in February,
limping off with a left knee injury.

Both sides made a host of changes throughout the second half from which Ireland
benefitted the most with O’Gara capitalising on a series of errors by the French

He kicked three quick penalties to cut the score to 13-12 before Yachvili gave
his side breathing space with two penalties in reply, the second of which was
awarded for a blatant obstruction by Leinster winger Luke Fitzgerald on Maxime

France and Ireland meet again in Dublin next Saturday in another warm-up ahead
of the World Cup which starts in New Zealand on September 9. Ireland face England in two weeks time.

Final Score France 19 Ireland 12


Tries: Clerc
Penalties: Yachvili 4
Conversions: Yachvili

Penalties: O’Gara 4

Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)

France (15 to 1)

Damien Traille (Biarritz); Vincent Clerc (Toulouse), David Marty (Perpignan), Maxime Mermoz (Perpignan), Alexis Palisson (Toulon); Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz); Raphael Lakafia (Biarritz), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse,

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