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Sunday, March 04, 2012

France vs Ireland ends in disappointing stalemate in Paris

A second half comeback from the hosts resulted in a 17-17 draw between France and Ireland in their rearranged Six Nations fixture on Sunday afternoon. The outcome rules out France's chances of a Grand Slam, while Ireland's title aspirations are now over.

Brilliant Irish winger Tommy Bowe scored twice for the visitors as they raced off to a first half lead, his first try coming from an intercept after a loose pass by center Aurelien Rougerie.

He scored again later on from a fantastic chip and chase effort, but the second half boot of Morgan Parra, and the pace of emerging talent Wesley Fofana both ruled out an Ireland victory.

"It’s disappointing for us, we played good rugby in the first half, we didn't match it in the second. It’s disappointing, we had a great opportunity to win and we didn’t take it. It’s frustrating for us, you don’t get many chances to win here," captain Paul O'Connell told BBC1.

Thierry Dusautoir said his team are very disappointed, echoed by coach Phillipe Saint-Andre. "In the dressing room it felt like a defeat. The Irish defend very well and contest the breakdown well. You have to congratulate the Irish, but you can't give points away easily like we did."

France play England at home next, then host Wales in the final game, with the Welsh side aiming for a Grand Slam, depending on what happens in their next fixture against Italy.

Ireland, having just one win under their belt from three Six Nations outings this year, host Scotland next weekend, then travel to Twickenham to face England.

Below are quick highlights from the game, featuring the tries and a late drop goal attempt.

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