Published: Sun, February 04, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Murray praises Sexton, but says not to forget the forwards

Murray praises Sexton, but says not to forget the forwards

You are just kind of in a flow situation, you've a good chat with the lads around you, we know what to do in that situation and I thought we executed it really well.

He will make his global debut at Stade de France only three months after starting his first Top 14 match with Bordeaux Beglés.

In 2018, Tourism Ireland in France will undertake a targeted programme of promotions.

Another uncapped player, fullback Geoffrey Palis, will also start as Brunel will look to restore France's confidence for his first game in charge.

Rob Kearney cleared the ball to touch.

Maxime Machenaud posted France's solitary first-half penalty and Sexton's fourth penalty edged Ireland further ahead in the second half before the visitors laid siege yet again on the French whitewash. Then they had to reclaim a 22 drop-out, through Iain Henderson, and subsequently a cross-kick to Keith Earls, as they worked their way through phase after phase.

Joe Schmidt's men had led for much of an attritional contest on the opening day of the tournament courtesy of four Sexton penalties and the fly-half held his nerve to win it with the last kick of the game from around 40 yards out.

France went into the tournament off the back off a bad autumn campaign in which they failed to win any of their four fixtures. "We just were a little bit under-prepared in the two weeks leading up to it".

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"Then they travel to Twickenham, and while I feel England will beat them, I have a unusual feeling - and it's nothing more than a gut instinct - that England are vulnerable and might lose before they get to the final game". Where yesterday they couldn't get over the line, that will be a different approach and a different story.

France and Ireland finished third and second a year ago on points difference. I think people physically underestimate how tough it is to come here and win.

If you think that France could be in with a chance of winning the Six Nations then make sure you shop around for the best odds, for being one of the outsiders you will often find many different betting sites are offering some rather large odds on France being crowned the winners, and now the very best odds I have found on offer are 20/1!

Still, France will take heart from the spirit they showed under Brunel.

Ireland started with vigour and Sexton slotted over an early penalty to put them in front after France strayed offside. "It was inspirational, especially when so many had to be involved".

So a lot of the ball was slow, and it didn't speed up much in the second half.

However, lack of discipline continued to cost Brunel's side as yet another infraction gave Sexton the chance to restore Ireland's six-point advantage going into the break - one he grasped with both hands. Then one of the most remarkable sequences in the history of Irish rugby - some 41 phases over two and a half minutes - drew a cloud over that one.

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