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National News

Ireland well beaten by France
Friday, 21st September 2007

Ireland's world cup campaign continued to stutter in Paris this evening. Despite all of our huff, puff and best endeavour, we were no match for Les Bleus, finally going down 25-3.

Ireland managed to stay with the French for much of the first half, but in truth, it was always an uphill battle. The pack never gained momentum, and whenever things looked promising, they nearly always gave away a stupid penalty. With a little luck, it could have been 9-6 or 9-9 at half time, instead of which, it was 12-3, France picking off easy penalties each time they came into the Irish half.

And whatever chance there was of a comeback in the 2nd half was well and truly buried by an excellent Michalak chip over the Irish defence, catching Trimble way out of position, leaving the way open for an easy French try.

Ireland never really threatened and it is almost impossible for them to progress out of the group now, needing a win by 8 points or more and 4 tries against Argentina in the final group match next week. Based on what we have seen to date, Ireland will be lucky to beat the Pumas.

All in all, it has been a desparately disappointing world cup for Ireland and it looks like there'll be a lot of tough questions asked afterwards. I actually feel sorry for the team now, the sooner it's over the better.

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