France demolish Ireland in Paris

Ireland's hopes of completing back-to-back Grand Slams were crushed last night in Paris where the men in green hammered 33-10 by a ruthless French side.

Brian O'Driscoll's side were considered slim favourites heading into the match, however France built on their impressive performance against Scotland last week to lay down a marker for the other sides in the Six Nations.

Despite starting well Ireland found themselves down to 14 men when prop Cian Healy was sent to the sin-bin for an early tackle on France out-half Francois Trinh-Duc. The home side capitalized on their numerical advantage to lead 17-3 at half time.

Hooker William Servat scored the opening try from close range after a period of sustained French pressure. Things got even worse for Ireland when Mathieu Bastareaud smashed through the Irish midfield and his centre partner Jannick Jauzion scored from the resulting ruck.

Any chances of an Irish fight back in the second half were dashed on 54 minutes. Bastareaud was again the architect using his strength to break the line before offloading to fullback Clement Poitrenaud who crossed the line unopposed.

David Wallace scored a consolation try for last year's Grand Slam winners after some brilliant hands from O'Driscoll and Steven Ferris. However, there was no way back for Ireland and drop goals from Morgan Parra and substitute Frederic Michalak put the icing on a brilliant French performance.

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