Injuries mount as Ireland come up short against France

There is little to be optimistic about after an incredibly poor game of rugby.

Injuries mount as Ireland come up short against France

Andrew Matthews / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Although it was a bruising and incredibly physical encounter, Ireland came out on the losing side against to a very poor French team in the Stade de France on Saturday. 

A late Maxime Medard try and Jules Plisson conversion handed France victory after a horrendous game of rugby that saw Ireland's injury problems mount. 

Sean O'Brien, Mike McCarthy, Dave Kearney and Johnathan Sexton all left the field with serious looking injuries after another attritional battle, while afterwards Joe Schmidt revealed Jared Payne played through the pain barrier from the halfway point.

"Its pretty tough at the moment," said Schmidt. "Jared Payne had a massively tough performance, he's a very strong character. He was gone pretty much at half time but he just muscled his way through".

Schmidt also had grievance with the games officiating following a number of off the ball incidents that referee Jaco Peyper failed to deal with.

"We were a little bit disappointed that there wasn't some action taken for a couple of things that happened off the ball. I'm not sure but we'll review those".

Ireland controlled the opening exchanges of the game and went into the break 9-3 ahead after three Sexton penalties, while Plisson got France's solitary first half score. 

However, Ireland were unable to convert their dominance into further points as the miserable conditions took their toll in attack, with multiple unforced errors bringing a halt to their momentum.

A change in the French front row saw Ireland lose the advantage in the scrum, with the decisive score coming off the back of numerous penalties and resets in front of the Irish posts.

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

After failing to earn the penalty try, Maxime Machenaud fed Medard, who skipped away from the Irish tacklers to dot down beneath the posts. 

Ireland failed to give themselves a realistic chance to get back into the game as the French pack began to dictate proceedings, handing them the platform for victory. 

For Ireland, the dream of the three in a row is all but over.