Defending champion France beat Ireland 25-22 in Dublin today for its second straight victory in rugby’s Six Nations championship.
Ireland, winner of the tournament in 2009, got three tries to the visitors’ one but paid the price for ill-discipline in conceding penalties.
Fergus McFadden’s try, converted by Jonathan Sexton, gave Ireland a 7-0 lead, but Morgan Parra took advantage of rule infringements by Ireland to score four first-half penalties.
Sexton got a penalty for the home team, and just before halftime Tomas O’Leary was awarded a try after a video replay to leave Ireland leading 15-12 at the interval.
Penalties by Parra and replacement Dimitri Yachvili and a try by Maxime Medard made it 25-15 for France as Yachvili added the conversion. Then Jamie Heaslip crowned a period of intense Irish pressure with a try converted by replacement Ronan O’Gara to narrow the gap to three points.
Ireland subjected the visitors to more attacks as the clock ticked down but France weathered the storm for its second straight win after beating Scotland a week ago.
Yesterday, Chris Ashton became the first England player to score four tries in a Six Nations match as his team beat Italy 59-13 at Twickenham. Wales beat Scotland 24-6 in Edinburgh.
Leader England and France both have four points after two rounds of games. Wales and Ireland have two, and Scotland and Italy have yet to score.