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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 February 2006, 13:10 GMT
Clockwatch: France 43-31 Ireland
All the action as France defeat Ireland 43-31 at the Stade de France in the Six Nations.

80 mins: France coach Bernard Laporte and his players breathe a massive sigh of relief as the final whistle goes. An extraordinary 80 minutes. All the players look absolutely exhausted.

79 mins: It's sheer, unadulterated chaos as attacks come from both sides the length of the field, and penalties are awarded and taken before any of the players can even catch their breath.

78 mins: D'Arcy, after some early errors in the first half, is having a fine afternoon. He ducks and weaves for the latest break. But for the moment Ireland only yo-yo either side of the field as France's defence holds firm.

77 mins: A grim-faced O'Driscoll limps off the field. Scrum-half Eion Reddan comes on and there's a little shake-up in the Irish backs.

76 mins: The Irish keep on pounding on the pressure with a series of late offensives. But some errors creep into their game to halt the momentum and enable France to breathe a sigh of relief. The home side now look safe for the win... but only just.

74 mins: Ireland have a timely penalty. O'Gara goes for touch to earn his side a line-out inside the French 22.

73 mins: An injured-looking O'Driscoll opts to play on despite a clear limp. Magne's back on as Martin receives treatment.

70 mins: TRY France 43-31 Ireland
It's now just conceivable that Ireland could pull off one of the most remarkable comebacks in rugby history. The French look dead and buried as O'Driscoll pins back his ears and flies to the line. He off-loads to Trimble, who slides in. O'Gara kicks two more vital points. We could be set for a thrilling finale to a truly bizarre but captivating contest.

67 mins: TRY France 43-24 Ireland Replacement O'Callaghan bulldozes over for try number three. Martin and Jermone Thion both bounce off his bulky frame as he launches himself at the line. Initially they appear to stop him grounding the ball, but he breaks clear and the five points are duly awarded. O'Gara converts.

65 mins: Ireland are within a pass of their third try in seven minutes - Murphy's pass to O'Gara is knocked away by Julien Bonnaire. In the build-up, Murphy, D'Arcy and O'Driscoll all enjoyed sniping runs.

64 mins: Passes are now being flung left, right and centre. It's messy, but very entertaining, stuff.

61 mins: TRY France 43-17 Ireland
D'Arcy finds Ireland's second try as he runs through unchallenged and O'Gara converts it again. It restores some pride if nothing else. In the meantime, Andrew Trimble's on for Bowe.

59 mins: There's a big old change of personnel out there for France. On come Sylvain Marconnet, Remy Martin and Dimitri Yachvili, off go Olivier Milloud, Magne and Elissalde.

58 mins: TRY France 43-10 Ireland
At least Ireland score a try but there are hardly any celebrations from the Irish when O'Gara touches down under the posts. Denis Leamy makes the initial break, Peter Stringer delays his pass and O'Gara glides in. He then converts his own try.

56 mins: Grunts and groans ring out from a French scrum just in front of their line. They shove diligently and Michalak has more than enough time to kick the ball clear.

54 mins: For the first time in a long time, Ireland break with class. Murphy's like an extra from Strictly Come Dancing as he darts and pirouettes through France's defence. He then sends running partner Wallace on his way to the line, but he doesn't quite have the pace.

52 mins: Donncha O'Callaghan and Simon Best replace Malcolm O'Kelly and Reggie Corrigan respectively. It remains to be seen if they can halt Ireland's biggest ever defeat to France. The record is a 44-5 loss in 2002.

51 mins: Heymans looks in a world of bother. He pulls up dramatically in the midst of the action and is now being treated by his medical team.

48 mins: TRY France 43-3 Ireland
O'Gara has little option on the break but to chip and chase it. Sadly it sticks like glue to the fast-approaching Marty, who darts through for his second score. Elissalde adds the two points straight under the posts. This is becoming painful viewing.

45 mins: TRY France 36-3 Ireland
Some of the slickest passing of the afternoon end with Heymans running in his second try. The ball must have passed through the hands of most of the French team - Heymans was merely the lucky recipient at the end of the line. The conversion is added.

43 mins: A minute of kicking yo-yo ends when Murphy finds touch and the French take a quick line-out, much to the delight of those watching. It's a captivating all-action start to the half.

42 mins: A sneaky chip and chase from the wirey Stringer shows Ireland are still giving their all to this game. It may only be 90 seconds long, but they've at least got the upper hand in this half.

41 mins: Michalak nonchalantly lofts the ball high in the air to resume play.


40 mins: The whistle goes for half-time.

39 mins: Michalak is within a whisker of being charged down by a trio of green shirts behind his own try line. He just manages to hoof the ball clear.

38 mins: Ireland know they're going to have to produce something pretty spectacular after the break to have any chance of a comeback. A driving maul over 30 metres followed by an O'Driscoll kick for the corner dent France and show the Irish have certainly not given up.

35 mins: TRY France 29-3 Ireland
Again France score with seemingly nothing on. Murphy looks up for Ireland and wings a long pass to his fellow backs. Cedric Heymans sees it from a mile off, grasps the ball and runs half the length of the field to score. Elissalde's kick makes France's lead even more ominous.

33 mins: The Stade de France faithful join in en masse with whatever the French is for "heave" in a bid to drive their forwards over the line. The try doesn't come. In fact, all France have to show for their physicality is a bloody-nosed Magne.

30 mins: PENALTY France 22-3 Ireland
The brief respite Ireland had managed seconds ago, is wiped out by an Elissalde penalty.

28 mins: PENALTY France 19-3 Ireland
Ireland stop the rot as O'Gara seals an easy penalty much to the relief of the travelling support.

27 mins: D'Arcy appears to have mastered the forward pass. His latest hurl is a couple of feet forward and possession is handed over once more.

25 mins: The frustration is creeping in for Ireland. They enjoy yet more possession and are camped right on France's line but the French defence remains immense.

23 mins: Fritz and O'Driscoll take time out to discuss the day's business on the turf as play carries on. Referee Honiss decides after a minute it's time to stop their brawling. He has a word with the pair and opts for a scrum.

22 mins: D'Arcy and the referee are really not seeing eye to eye now. He sends Horgan on his way, but is called back after D'Arcy's forward pass. It brings a nice round of "oooohs" and "aaaahs" from a crowded Stade de France.

19 mins: D'Arcy hits back immediately with a sniping run for a try. But he is called back for a knock-on, something the Irish centre disagrees with.

18 mins: TRY France 19-0 Ireland David Marty scores try number three from virtually nowhere. Ireland have repeated possession but can't do anything with it. Rightly O'Gara opts to kick away but Marty reads it, charges it down, catches the ball on the bounce and scores. Elissalde does the honours with the kick.

16 mins: David Wallace enjoys a darting run from the back of a French line-out, which is then taken up by Gordon D'Arcy. The move, however, ends in French hands.

13 mins: Ireland temporarily stop the French dominance with a penalty. O'Gara goes for goal... but unsuccessfully as it turns out.

10 mins: O'Driscoll wings out a laughably forward pass to end another promising Irish move. He pleads innocence to referee Honiss, who isn't remotely moved by such pleas.

7 mins: TRY France 12-0 Ireland
A woeful Irish mix-up brings a second French try, this time from the returning veteran Olivier Magne. The Irish defence gets terribly confused, spilling a ball that Frederic Michalak picks up. He darts inside, off-loads to Magne, who finishes off the move. Elissalde makes no mistake with the spot kick on this occasion.

6 mins: The Irish launch attack after attack after attack. Their sense of adventure brings a penalty, with which they opt to tap and go. It all goes awry though and Dominici just about kicks clear.

5 mins: Ireland have a wonderful attacking opportunity as Elissalde is forced into a knock-on deep in his own half.

3 mins: TRY France 5-0 Ireland
It's a disastrous start for Ireland but sheer joy for France as Aurelien Rougerie flies in on the right wing. A missed tackle by Tommy Bowe paves the way for Christophe Dominici to break. He pops it to Rougerie, who steps inside Geordan Murphy and the five points are duly awarded. Elissalde misses the conversion.

1 min: In a statement of intent, Jean-Baptiste Elissalde takes a quick tap penalty as the Irish are penalised for an early infringement. Sadly for the home crowd, the ball is knocked on on the break.

1330 GMT: The ball arcs through the Parisian air as referee Paul Honiss blows for the kick-off and Ronan O'Gara starts play.

1327 GMT: For all their surliness as they came out onto the field, the French are belting out their national anthem. Raphael Ibanez looks close to tears as the tune reaches its crescendo.

1325 GMT: The prize for most passionate national anthem singer goes to a slightly drunk looking man in the crowd bedecked in a full leprechaun outfit. As for the the team itself, John Hayes is arguably the most vocal singer.

1323 GMT: A serious-looking Fabien Pelous leads out France. Alongside him, an equally focused Brian O'Driscoll sprints onto the field followed by 14 other green shirts. The volume of the crowd is already very audible.

1315 GMT: France will be desperate to bounce back from their shock defeat to Scotland last weekend as they entertain Ireland in Paris.

French coach Bernard Laporte has made five changes, including the recall of veterans Olivier Magne and Raphael Ibanez.

The Irish, meanwhile, make a solitary change - Reggie Corrigan comes into the front row as a result of Marcus Horan's illness.

France: Dominici; Rougerie, Fritz, Marty, Heymans; Michalak, Elissalde; Milloud, Ibanez, de Villiers; Pelous, Thion; Nyanga, Magne, Bonnaire.
Replacements: Bruno, Marconnet, Nallet, Martin, Yachvili, Boyet, Valbon.

Ireland: Murphy; Horgan, O'Driscoll, capt, D'Arcy, Bowe; O'Gara, Stringer; Corrigan, Flannery, Hayes, O'Kelly, O'Connell, Easterby, Wallace, Leamy.
Replacements: R Best, S Best, O'Callaghan, O'Connor, Reddan, Humphreys, Trimble.


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