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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 February 2007, 18:04 GMT
O'Sullivan bemoans bounce of ball
Ireland's Paul O'Connell attempts a charge
Paul O'Connell is tackled by Serge Betsen at Croke Park
Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan said it was "the bounce of the ball" which saw his side lose 20-17 to France.

"The boys all put their bodies on the line for 80 minutes and when the win is snatched away from you at the death it is as cruel as you can get," he said.

"We got ourselves back into the game before half-time and played really well in the second half but the ball broke their way and that's how it goes.

"Everyone gave it everything they had and I have no complaints about effort."

O'Sullivan admitted they had been a bit slow out of the blocks in the opening quarter of the game.

"We struggled to get our hands on the ball in the first 20 minutes and we needed to make them work but we didn't," he said.

"We played some great rugby after half-time and really took the game to the French but they are a very good French team who came here to do a job but nearly didn't get it done.

We must keep our heads up and move on

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell

"It was luck that really got them across the line at the end of the day.

"I thought we did enough to win the game but sport is like that in general; you don't always get what you deserve and that was the case today."

O'Sullivan praised the atmosphere created by the capacity 82,000 crowd at Croke Park and said they played a big part in pushing his side on to greater efforts.

"It was an amazing occasion and the crowd were fantastic. Every time we did something positive they were behind us but a win would really have made the day."

A disappointed Ireland captain Paul O'Connell said Ireland "did a lot of good things in the game but had to eradicate the errors".

"We are still in the championship and have the Triple Crown to play for so we must keep our heads up and move on.

"The prospect of playing England at Croke Park gives us all the incentive we need to pick ourselves up."

606 DEBATE: What did you think of Ireland's display?

Ireland 17-20 France
11 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union
Ireland-France as it happened
11 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union


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