Ireland lost 35-27 tonight in Paris. France played some wonderful rugby in spurts but Ireland shot themselves in the foot again and again and again. The second half was extremely frustrating from an Ireland perspective as penalties, set pieces misfires and boneheaded plays added up just as France seemed vulnerable.
Andy Farrell cleared his bench in the second half but it was clear his captain Johnny Sexton was not happy to be removed from the field of play. Sexton seemed furious to be withdrawn in the 69th minute.
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) October 31, 2020
Sexton shook his head a number of times, took a look at the scoreboard, and then began shaking his head again. One minute later, Vakatawa scored France's fifth try to seal victory.
Overall it was a frustrating night for Ireland's captain. Sexton was flying in the first 20 minutes: his grubber kick in the first half could have earned Ireland a penalty try. But his decision to kick to the corner just before half time was pivotal in the match's outcome. France repelled Ireland off their lineout and did not look back. A converted penalty would have left Ireland down a single point going into the break. It was a big call considering Ireland only needed a seven point victory.
In the post match interview, Sexton said Ireland weren't good enough to exploit the French weaknesses in defense tonight. He called the decision to go for the try before half time 'a brave decision'.