Ireland 5 France 10
Ireland’s women’s six nations was plunged into darkness as France snatched a victory in a games of two halves in Ashbourne.
An uneventful first half which failed to see a single score was replaced with high drama as floodlight failure delayed the second half by some 45 minutes.
The power outage occurred just 16 seconds into the second half with the teams twice returning to the dressing rooms as the second pitch was readied.
The game resumed at 9.15, nearly two hours after the first half had kicked off. A failed oil filter in a power generator leaving the Meath venue in darkness.
It had taken some 22 minutes for the game’s first attempt, the Irish penalised for going over the top, Jessey Tremouleire’s kick missing the posts, but remained in play.
The French influence was grew in the game, four minutes later les blues were unable to mark their score card, Tremouliere’s penalty well short from the 22.
The Irish grew into the tame first half Captain Niamh Briggs and Jennifer Murphy working the ball back into Irish hands as the hosts played from the centre field.
A rare incursion into French territory on 33 minutes, ended with sloppy play from the scrum as Caroline Boujard pounced to win French possession.
The Irish edged into the French final third on 37 minutes with a big tackle from Julie Billes catching Larissa Muldoon as les blues door began to open.
The visitors were the ones holding out for half time, after an opening period that referee Claire Hodnett played a surprising five minutes of injury time.
Safi N’Diaye brought a flowing Irish move to an abrupt end with a crunching challenge on Jennifer Murphy.
The second was a lively affair and the game exploded into life under the brightened Ashbourne pitch.
French lock Marien De Nadai was dispatched to the sin bin as the Irish surged for the line on 46 minutes, Ailis Egan grabbed the game’s first score from an Irish maul, 60 seconds later.
The Irish backs dominated in the early exchanges of the second half retain the ball across Murphy Fitzhenry and late call up Tyrell.
Disaster struck the Irish on 64 minutes, a quick flowing Irish move from left to right saw Jennifer Murphy on half way.
Murphy didn’t look to her blindside and passed to an intercepting Caroline Boujard, who raced unopposed to the line with Tremouliere adding the extra two.
Ireland battled to get back into the game, though a scuffle on 73 minutes was the undoing of their game as Paula Ftzpatrick was sent to the sin bin.
Tremouliere gleefully converted the penalty with the Irish unhappy as it appeared Pauline Rayssac had struck Sophie Spence.
The Irish charged for the line in the closing stages with Ailson Miller charging and Marie Louise Reilly both held up on the line as France picked up their second victory of 2015.
Briggs, Tyrrell, Murphy, Fitzhenry, Miller, Stapleton, Muldoon, O’Reilly, Bourke, Egan, Spence, Reilly, Fitzpatrick, Molloy, O’Brien
Rosser for Bourke, Hayes for O’Reilly,
Mimnagh, O’Brien, Fitzsimons, Norris, Shiels, Naoupu
Tremouliere, Boujard, Poublan, Heguy, Billes, Cabalou, Rivoalen, Arricastre, Mignot, Duval, Andre, De Nadai, Diallo, Grand, N’Diaye
Rayssac for Grand 35”, Neisen for Boujard 78”,
Divoux, Portaries, Ferer, Saubusse, Delas, Chobet
Claire Hodnett (England)