Friday, 17 August, 2018

Ireland's love for Johnny Sexton truly knows no bounds

Scotland stunned Ireland at Murrayfield in the opening match last year Scotland stunned Ireland at Murrayfield in the opening match last yearOWEN HUMPHREYS PA
Eugene Bates | 07 February, 2018, 02:01

Jonathan Sexton's dramatic late drop-goal propelled Ireland to an attritional but famous victory over France in their Six Nations Opener in Paris.

A magnificent solo try from Teddy Thomas nine minutes from time looked to have given new head coach Brunel a winning start to his tenure as the rain fell at the Stade de France.

Matthieu Jalibert and Antoine Dupont were both forced off with knee injuries but were registered as requiring head injury assessments.

Talking point: Ireland's 2018 Six Nations campaign is up and running with this opening-day victory.

"This year, we got a chance and we took it".

"I am very happy that people either think we are not very good, even terrible or just rank bad, and regarded as the fifth country in the tournament".

Eight minutes after the break, Sexton kicked his fourth goal but Machenaud's second three-pointer gave France a scent in the 54th minute.

Youngster Ryan gets nod ahead of Toner for French clash Young Irish lock James Ryan has been handed a vote of confidence by being selected to play France in Paris on Saturday in what will be his Six Nations debut.

Brunel said: "Given that we believed he could play at this level [by calling him up] there is no reason not to blood him".

"Italy are destined for the wooden spoon once again, there doesn't look to be much hope of them not losing all five games - we've priced them at 500/1 to win the tournament to back this up".

"The HIA Review Processor is reviewing a number of incidents from the France v Ireland match in the senior men's championship".

"I think the officials are
trying really hard to protect all 30 people on the pitch".

I don't know about you, but this player excites us a lot! Nigel Owens, the referee, said he had to abide by the decision made by the match doctor.

Yes, a teenager, a 19-year-old, will start an global match in one of the most competitive rugby competitions in the world against one of the tournament favourites.

For their part, Ireland will be targeting the young playmaker, although South African-born British and Irish Lions flanker CJ Stander insists there would be nothing unusual about that regardless.

With the player visibly limping as he was supported off the field and down the tunnel, Owens repeatedly sought confirmation of the HIA call as it certainly appeared that the player had suffered an injury to his leg rather than his head.

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