ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Sunday Feb 4, 2018

Johnny Sexton's last minute heroics hailed as 'inspirational' by Joe Schmidt

Ireland needed extra time and a masterful performance from their world class fly half to get their 2018 Six Nations campaign off to a winning start. Sexton accounted for all of Ireland’s points, none more crucial than his match-winning drop goal.

It was a rain-soaked and injury-riddled evening at the Stade de France. Perhaps it was the damp conditions or the fact that this was the first match for each team, but it was a game that – up until the end – couldn’t quite seem to find a rhythm.

This style seemed to suit Ireland just fine, as they appeared more than content to ride Sexton’s boot. However, France were never truly out of the match and in the second half, disaster struck for Ireland starting with a missed Sexton penalty.

France turned the tables in the 72nd minute as Teddy Thomas sprinted 60 meters for the only try of the match. Adding the conversion, France took the lead 13-12 and appeared to be headed for an opening round victory. 

The French were then awarded yet another penalty with only a few minutes to spare, but missed the ensuing kick. What had been a rather boring match was quickly transformed into a exciting spectacle that went down to the wire and beyond.

There was still plenty of time for Ireland to go to work and that’s precisly what they did, driving up the field one meter at a time, starting way back at the 22-meter restart. 

Ireland spent an astounding 41 phases, and went into extra time trying to crack the stiff French resistance and only broke it open after a spledid cross-kick from Sexton to Keith Earls.

This proved to be the much-needed spark that Ireland needed, and they maintained strong discipline to see that Sexton eventually got his chance. 

He didn’t disappoint and slotted a brilliant 45-metre drop goal for the win. 

“To be honest, I went back to many years ago when we played Treviso away and I was in that exact same position, almost identical situation, and I just flashed back to that,” Sexton said post match.

“I had a pop. The lads’ legs were out and I don’t think we could have gone another couple of phases so just got there in the end.

“I was just happy to get another chance to get the victory for the boys. We’ve worked so hard for the last two weeks… All that would have crumbled today if we had lost. It’s great to be in the position that we are now after getting an away win.”

After those unbelievable few minutes of play at the death, Ireland left France with a 15-13 victory. 

Post match press conference with captain Rory Best and coach Joe Schmidt:

Credit: FF Rugby/Irish Rugby TV

ADVERTISEMENT

Related Articles

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    Rugby experts debate: Did Gatland really...

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    McKenzie makes 55 metre kick look easy en...

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    The two performances which labelled 21-year-old...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Electric Reinach embarrasses 108kg number eight and runs 80 metres to score stunner

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Quade Cooper stars in lovely Wallabies try with trademark backdoor pass

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Koroibete montage shows what Wallabies will miss after winger's shock exit

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Analysis of Dombrandt performance shows unseen work of potential England number eight

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Six minutes of Nick Tompkins highlights will leave fans questioning his lack of Test caps

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 22 HOURS AGO

    Nasty video of pro rugby's 'most brutal' red cards is simply a must watch

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Top 14 brawl spills into dug out as tensions fly during feisty Toulouse vs Castres clash

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Joe Marler's yellow card vs Bath looks worse the more you watch it

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    HEAD LOSS: The time Steyn clobbered Kolbe, saw yellow, then clapped the crowd

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Horror knock out a result of 'inadvisable' body position by 110kg Samoan number eight

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 23 HOURS AGO

    French wingers nearly cough up guaranteed try in Top 14 victory

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Questions remain for rugby in USA in wake of All Black thrashing

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Wasps coaches handed one-week bans after misbehaving on the sidelines

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Re-live Danny Care’s crazy brain fade which sent Martin Johnson into a rage

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Analysis of Dombrandt performance shows unseen work of potential England number eight

View All

Funnies

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Erasmus celebrates Boks win over All Blacks in his UNDERWEAR

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Twenty years on since hilarious All Blacks howler almost gave Argentina famous test win

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Five minutes of Mike Phillips scrum half 'sh*thousery' is comedy gold....mostly

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Five minutes of Faf de Klerk on-pitch shenanigans is pure gold to watch

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Montoya calls All Blacks star a pu**y in hilarious head loss moment

View All

Amateur

  • 51 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 88 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    New Tongan Thor montage is five minutes of mesmerising hits and skills

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    A deeper look at Jason Robinson's incredible path to the top

  • 35 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bumping off tacklers and taking high balls, Rob Kearney had an impressive Super Rugby debut

  • 41 WEEKS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

  • 42 WEEKS AGO

    Tuisova's wrecking ball montage will make you grateful you never made it as a pro

View All