The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
France head coach Marc Lievremont was delighted to see his young side hold out in the face of an Ireland storm in those problematic final 20 minutes.
“We are proud of the way our players performed,” he said.
“We won but we suffered right until the last minute. We were punished for our mistakes and the same thing happened two years ago - France dominated at first and Ireland came back strong in the second half.
“The players will learn a lot from this but they showed a great will and desire.”
Lievremont’s decision to withdraw front-row forwards Lionel Faure and Dimitri Szarzewski at the start of the second half weakened the French pack and Ireland took advantage, butchering their opponents in the scrum and at the breakdown.
The France coach admitted he was alarmed at what happened, adding: “We dominated the scrum in the first half, but we didn’t conserve our efforts well enough.
“Seeing us go backwards in the scrum did not give me much pleasure and I am unhappy they scored their penalty try.
“This highlights our shortcomings in this department.”
Captain Lionel Nallet saved special words for the sensational Clerc, the scorer of five tries already in this season’s Six Nations.
“Scoring three tries is an excellent achievement, and that is superb for him,” said Nallet.
“I congratulate him and I thank him. It just shows how team spirit can be transmitted through to the players.”