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Ireland take bonus point Six Nations win over France

16 March 2019

If Ireland beat Wales, and Scotland upset England, Schmidt's side could still retain their title.

Ireland captain, Rory Best, marked his final Six Nations game at the Aviva Stadium by overseeing the men in green to a bonus point win.

Above all in need of a performance to banish some of those doubts, Ireland got just that and utterly outclassed a French side that, not for the first time in this year's championship, looked completely out of their depth.

We know going to Cardiff next week we will have to be a lot better and the exciting thing is how we get our teeth into that.

Warren Gatland's Wales - the only team with a chance of a grand slam - have 16 points, England 15 and Ireland 14.

Simply ending Wales' national record winning streak at 13 matches will go a long way to further boosting Irish confidence that was restored as soon as Best touched down in the corner.

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Although reclaiming the Six Nations title is not entirely in Ireland's hands, Joe Schmidt clearly believes his side have begun to distance themselves from the ominous worries that surrounded early games throughout this campaign.

"It's been six incredible years for me".

On Sunday the Ulster front row led from the front yet again, peeling off a drive from a line-out to score the first try of the match as early as the third minute at Lansdowne Road.

France managed to get hold of some ball early in the second half but never looked like threatening before Earls became Ireland's joint second-highest try scorer when he ran clear for his 30th global try. The British & Irish Lion recently announced that he would move to London Irish after this autumn's World Cup.

Ireland were 26-0 up until three minutes from the end when France, frustratingly saving their best for a time when the match was lost, managed converted tries from Yoann Huget and Camille Chat that skewed the scoreline.

"I think it's taken a while but there was a bit of our rhythm back today", said Schmidt.

Ireland take bonus point Six Nations win over France