Ireland put up a fight, but in the end, they probably only had themselves to blame for their Six Nations loss in France this evening.
While coming away from Paris is never easy, some questionable decision making in the closing stages cost them the opportunity to emerge as winners.
It was a disastrous first half from Ireland, who could count themselves fortunate to only be trailing by 12 points at the interval. France dominated every aspect of the game, with only a moment of brilliance from Mack Hansen getting Andy Farrell's side on the scoreboard.
However, the second half was a different story. Two brilliant tries from Josh van der Flier and Jamison Gibson Park got them right back into the game.
GIBSON PARK! 🟢
YES YES YES! ☘️
That is brilliant from the scrum half! 🧠#FRAvIRE #GuinnessSixNations pic.twitter.com/jGc51JbWvY
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) February 12, 2022
With six points between the sides in the final ten minutes, Ireland were presented with a golden opportunity. They were awarded a penalty in the French half and had the opportunity to pin them back with a lineout on the five metre line. Instead, Ireland opted to kick for the posts.
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That proved to be a decisive moment, with France going on to kick another penalty themselves to win by six points.
It was a disappointing end to the game, with Ireland now looking like outsiders to win this championship.
Brian O'Driscoll questions Ireland's Six Nations decision making
Speaking on ITV after the game, Brian O'Driscoll questioned why Ireland did not back themselves by going for the corner on this occasion.
Of course it's not the right call because they haven't won the game, but it's easy to look back retrospectively.
In real time, all of us were discussing it and deliberating it here. Because they had success from the previous maul and van der Flier scored a try from it, it seemed like the obvious route to go (to the corner).
They were six behind so were going to have to score at least another penalty to only draw the game, whereas seven points would have put them into the lead if they scored the try and knocked over the conversion.
I'm just surprised with this team's mentality. They go to the corner so often, but yet when it got tight like this they didn't back themselves.
It was certainly a massive missed opportunity for Ireland, who should have backed themselves on this occasion.
They could well rue that call come the end of this year's Six Nations.