France prove too strong for Irish women
France 24 Ireland 0
It was a night to forget for Ireland as they suffered a heavy defeat in their Women's Six Nations opener. This game represented the dawn of a new era for Ireland, following the retirement of several key players in the aftermath of last year's disappointing World Cup campaign. They are also under the guidance new head coach New Zealander Adam Griggs.
However, thanks to eye-catching tries from Cyrielle Banet, Jade Le Pesq (two) and Jessy Trémoulière, France comfortably secured a bonus-point victory at Stade Ernest Wallon.
France were the odds-on favourites to maintain their perfect home record against Ireland. Full-back Trémoulière's early penalty rebounded off the posts, but after she combined effectively with Pauline Bourdon, Banet stepped inside for a sixth-minute try.
Ireland needed to establish some territory of their own and they briefly threatened to break over the French whitewash. However, Les Bleus wrestled back possession and claimed their second try on 25 minutes. Bourdon's crossfield ball was gathered by Caroline Boujard - who released Le Pesq for a superb score underneath the posts.
Trémoulière supplied the bonuses on this occasion, before crossing over to give France a 17-0 interval lead.
Clear-cut opportunities were few and far between against a physical French defence and Ireland lost Ciara Cooney to injury just before the hour mark.
In her absence, Ireland worked hard to halt France's quest for a fourth try, before Le Pesq finally added to the French account with a neat finish in the right-corner. Ireland will look to bounce back at home to Italy next Sunday afternoon.
Sunday Indo Sport