Women's Six Nations Tournament: France outclass Ireland and pursue Grand Slam quest

Les Bleues put on a show

Women's Six Nations Tournament: France outclass Ireland and pursue Grand Slam quest

Les Bleues put on a show. Under the sun of Cork, in front of a festive and family audience, the French women's rugby team largely won in Ireland (3-53), Saturday April 1, during the second day of the Six Nations Tournament. She garnered a second success in the competition, after the sluggish but victorious start in Italy (12-22), last Sunday.

In Parma, the XV of France had harbored some regrets for not having pocketed the offensive bonus point. An additional unit far from anecdotal in the quest for a seventh coronation in the Tournament, the first since 2018, which should probably be decided in England on the last day.

Then facing an Irish team largely beaten in Wales in opening (31-5), the French have rectified the situation: nine tries and an offensive bonus point acquired after only 32 minutes of play (3-24) thanks to the double by Pauline Bourdon (27th, 32nd).

"It's a match where we went a bit on the clock," rejoiced hooker Agathe Sochat on France 2. There are points that can be improved, but we started our adventure and we had fun. We are more confident. We felt a little calmer, we set up our game."

A fluid and realistic offensive game

The players of the new duo of coaches, Gaëlle Mignot and David Ortiz, were much more realistic than on the first day, by registering two tries on their first forays into the Irish camp. First by captain Audrey Forlani (0-5, 9th) then thanks to the back Caroline Boujard (0-10, 13th).

While the Habs had multiplied the hand errors in Italy, they offered an attacking game full of movement, fluidity and speed. Even the exclusion of Annaëlle Deshayes, sanctioned with a red card for a high tackle, did not stop the beautiful mechanics (3-10, 21st).

"Being at fourteen brought us back together", slipped Pauline Bourdon, at half-time, at the microphone of France 2. The scrum-half could even have scored a hat-trick, but she preferred to share the pleasure and offer the fifth try of the game to Gabrielle Vernier (3-27, 36th).

Defensively, the Blue confirmed their predispositions. Each time Ireland approached their in-goal, they resisted. Agathe Sochat and Gabrielle Vernier, in particular, were impeccable in the regroupings to defeat the attack of their opponents. This was the case at the start of the second period, before the tricolor realism struck again with the tries of Agathe Sochat (3-43, 55th), Cyrielle Banet (3-39, 59th), Gabrielle Vernier (3-46 , 72nd) and Charlotte Escudero to complete the demonstration (3-53, 76th).

The only downside of the day concerns Pauline Bourdon's still clumsy footwork. After her 2/4 against Italy, the number 9 missed the first two transformations yet largely within her reach. She was brilliantly replaced in her role as scorer by the young Morgane Bourgeois, 20, who was celebrating her first selection.

"We have to be able to reproduce it in each of our next matches," warned substitute third row and ex-captain Gaëlle Hermet. Next deadline against Scotland, April 16 in Vannes, for the third day of the Six Nations Tournament.