Ryan making his 2nd test start for Ireland vs France in 6N

by Steven Clarke February 6, 2018, 13:44
Ryan making his 2nd test start for Ireland vs France in 6N

Amongst all the talk of potential Six Nations victor and losers, Lovelace went on to discuss the current state of rugby union betting, and what can be done to ensure it grows and increases its appeal: "Betting on rugby union and Six Nations has improved over the past few years but there is a long way to go for it to compete and rival the likes of football, tennis, darts and other sports that have a far higher level of activity from our punters".

Under his tutelage they will start this campaign with the momentum of consecutive Six Nations' triumphs‚ as well as the wider context of 22 wins from 23 starts.

The match is at the Stade de France.

It meant Brunel started his France reign with an agonising defeat after a stunning solo try from Teddy Thomas had looked set to pinch an unlikely victory.

Ireland had led since the third minute through Sexton's first penalty and two more successful kicks, sandwiching Maxime Machenaud's score, had the visitors 9-3 ahead at the break. The chaos ended 41 phases later with Sexton slotting an absolute peach of a drop goal.

"I think this is a big issue and lots of players are in agreement that that's unacceptable because it's us this weekend, Wales weren't so lucky previous year. It's fairly inspirational", he said. We had to drop kick the ball to start with and Iain Henderson got it back. "It's a bit surprising: we're not used to this kind of professional trajectory whereas the English picked (Owen) Farrell and (George) Ford very early".

Ireland scored a late dramatic winner
GETTYIreland scored a late dramatic winner

Injuries have wreaked havoc with most squads but some of the favourites are feeling it more keenly than others.

Wide on the right, and with little space to work with, he accelerated down the line and swerved infield before making a beeline for the posts as flailing green-shirted Irishman failed to get a hand on him.

"He had one against the Scarlets to draw a match around nine years ago and that was a cracker as well".

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said playing France in Paris was an ideal place to test Ryan's temperament and mettle.

"I remember it well, it was England against Italy up at Twickenham - it was my first big match really, I'd done a couple of internationals before but I don't think you become an global referee until you've refereed a Six Nations game or a Rugby Championship game - or back then, a Tri Nations games".

"That's a credit to Johnny because he had a bit of cramp at the time and was tired himself, but his clarity of thought and ability to win those big moments is second to none". This two-stage review process is required by World Rugby.

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