Date Time Competition Season
11 February 2023 2:15 pm Six Nations 2022/23

Match Report

Ringrose Wraps Up Bonus Point Six Nations Thriller

Gary Ringrose's late try capped off an outstanding contest between Ireland and France, which saw the hosts pick up a bonus point win on the road for Grand Slam Glory.

Ireland ended their recent losing streak over the French and with it make it 13 games in a row unbeaten at the Aviva Stadium a new record, a highly exciting contest one that rugby served as the real winner, the purists at heart were treated to an absolute spectacle.

A red card not been awarded will cast questions over the tie but Ireland deserved the result and have a huge result now to build on if they want to take the title that eluded them last season.

Plenty of nerves in the opening minutes in Dublin, a clearance kick from the Irish hit the spider-camera overhead and gave a scrum for the hosts to steady themselves, both exchanged early box kicks for territory, but it was the French that struck first after five minutes with Thomas Ramos dissecting the posts with a long range penalty.

Shortly after going behind it was the perfect response from the hosts, James Lowe played a nice grubber kick down the left wing and Ramos strayed into touch attempting to keep it in play. France did well to stop the Irish drive from the lineout, a minute later serious pressure looked to see Ireland score an opening try, Andrew Porter was over but Antoine Dupont defended well to hold up the ball and get a goal line drop out.

Ireland however stayed on the charge for their score, all the credit for the build up goes to Finlay Bealham, the prop with a cut-back wraparound play created a gap in midfield and he offloaded to the oncoming Hugo Keenan who raced away through two French tacklers to finish. Sexton’s conversion put Ireland four ahead by the tenth minute.

Penalties were starting to mount up however against Ireland and with how strong Ramos is from the tee, a failure to release from the hosts gave Ramos another three-pointer from distance. France now had the wheel turning in their favour as they scored a contender for try of the tournament.

A loose ball inside their own half was picked up, they ducked and dived their way all the way downfield, where Damian Penaud shrugged off the Irish challenge in his way to race away and cross for a big score as Ramos made it a 13-7 lead.

Ireland's reply was swift and if the French try was brilliant, James Lowe produced an outrageous move to get the second try for the hosts, France made an error from the restart and play was then spread out wide to Lowe on the left wing, he had little room to work with but dived for the spectacular finish as he was bundled into touch but he looked to have grounded the ball.

A nervous wait as the TMO sieved through frame by frame of the footage to show that Lowe did not graze a blade of the Aviva turf, his dive over the line stood and Ireland were just a point behind as Sexton drew the conversion left and wide.

Momentum back with the hosts and a steal by Josh Van der Flier turned defence into attack as Ireland looked for another score, a bit hit however in the build up by Uini Antonio on Rob Herring needed a second look, the French prop made contact with his shoulder to the head of Herring, Wayne Barnes gave him a yellow card when the force behind it looked worse, a huge talking point as Herring needed to go off for a HIA.

With the penalty for that tackle Ireland chose to go for broke and attack once again, exerting pressure on the French line their forwards packed in looking for gaps and the big frame of Andrew Porter crossed the whitewash for a 19-13 lead as Sexton converted.

On the hour mark the French almost had a calamitous error as they lost possession only metres from the Irish line, the hosts got the ball with some clever passes to allow space Sexton raced down the wing showing he was well able to sprint but was bundled into touch after his offload, but a penalty saw France breathe a sigh of relief.

Ramos made it a three point game after 33 minutes with another big penalty, but Ireland will be kicking themselves they did not wrap up the bonus point at the end of the opening half, Mack Hansen made a terrific pass, before Keenan chipped it down the wing, strong defensive by the hosts did enough to stop Hansen getting over for the try.

That would be the overall narrative of the half, Ireland getting chances and crossing but getting held up for the grounding or being stopped dead in their tracks before hand, Conor Murray crossed twice at the end of the half but on both occasions was held up for grounding, Sexton would slot a penalty wit the last act of the half however as Ireland were 22-16 ahead at the break.

Following an exhilarating opening half in the capital, the second half showed little signs of starting off slow, the noise was electric as the hosts pressed on but a cheap turnover allowed France to clear their lines before once again ireland were penalised at the breakdown, the kick was a monster and despite Ramos showing his range at distance in the tie it proved just a little too far for him.

It was back to the walls however as the French resistance laid siege to the Irish line, but a serious shift by Stuart McCloskey produced a clutch turnover as Ireland had a penalty to clear their lines, France kept the pressure on however and another strong defensive effort was needed to counter another wave of French attack.

The pace and intensity looked to die down a little but Ireland now had ball and looked to attack short through Craig Casey now on as scrum half to look for his forward options, another penalty by the French allowed Ross Byrne who replaced the wounded Sexton to have an easy three points from the tee after Ireland again were held up.

Ramos responded with a drop goal his final act in the tie to make it a six point gap, as some Irish errors started to creep into their game once they got on the offence. Clever kicks in behind by Casey and Byrne would both be the catalyst in Ireland’s attack late on as they looked to suffocate the French defence that looked exhausted.

Ireland needed something to put the game to bed and after a tremendous carry by Caelan Dorris, the play looked dead and gone as Bundee Aki gathered a ball behind him, but Dorris salvage it and offloaded wide to Gary Ringrose and he beat three defenders to drive over for the bonus point try, no right to score but a huge moment for the hosts, Byrne converted for a 32-19 lead.


15Hugo Keenan Full-Back 9'
14Mack Hansen Winger
13Garry Ringrose Centre 72'
12Stuart McCloskey 23 Centre
11James Lowe Winger 20'
10Johnny Sexton 22 Fly-Half 10', 27'
9Conor Murray 21 Scrum-Half
1Andrew Porter 17 Prop 26'
2Rob Herring 16 Hooker
3Finlay Bealham 18 Prop
4Tadhg Beirne 19 Lock
5James Ryan Lock
6Peter O’Mahony 20 Flanker
7Josh Van Der Flier Flanker
8Caelan Doris No. 8
16Ronan Kelleher 2 Hooker
17Dave Kilcoyne 1 Prop
18Tom O’Toole 3 Prop
19Iain Henderson 4 Lock
20Jack Conan 6 No. 8
21Craig Casey 9 Scrum-Half
22Ross Byrne 10 Fly-Half 73'
23Bundee Aki 12 Centre


15Thomas Ramos 22 Full-Back 18'
5', 15', 33'
14Damian Penaud Winger 17'
13Gael Fickou Centre
12Yoram Moefana Centre
11Ethan Dumortier Winger
10Romain Ntamack Fly-Half
9Antoine Dupont Scrum-Half
1Cyril Baille 17 Prop
2Julien Marchand 16 Hooker
3Uini Atonio 18 Prop 25'
4Thibaud Flament Lock
5Paul Willemse 19 Lock
6Anthony Jelonch Flanker
7Charles Ollivon 20 Flanker
8Gregory Alldritt 21 No. 8
16Gaetan Barlot 2 Hooker
17Reda Wardi 1 Prop
18Sipili Falatea 3 Prop
19Romain Taofifenua 5 Lock
20François Cros 7 Flanker
21Sekou Macalou 8 Flanker
22Matthieu Jalibert 15 Fly-Half
23Baptiste Couilloud Scrum-Half

Past Meetings

(Round 2)
33 - 31
U20 Six Nations
Virgin Media Park

Ireland v France

(Round 2)
40 - 5
Women's Six Nations
Stade de France

France v Ireland

(Round 2)
30 - 24
Six Nations
Stade de France

France v Ireland

(Round 2)
16 - 17
U20 Six Nations
Stade de France

France v Ireland

(Week 2)
13 - 15
Six Nations
Aviva Stadium

Ireland v France


Aviva Stadium
Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Sandymount, Pembroke West ED, Dublin, County Dublin, Leinster, D04 CA43, Ireland

Diarmuid Kearney is a freelance Sports Journalist based in Co Kerry. He has more than 5 years experience covering domestic and international soccer for different media organisations, while also working for local and national print and digital organisations covering GAA.