France and Ireland draw Six Nations clash 17-17
Two Tommy Bowe tries put Irish 11 points ahead at the half
France hit back with xxxx in second half
Draw ends France's hopes of the grand slam
France and Ireland drew 17-17 in their Six Nations clash at the Stade de France in Paris Sunday.
Ireland led by 11 points at the half after a pair of Tommy Bowe tries, but France dominated after the break as the honors were shared.
The draw ends France’s hopes of the grand slam this season and leaves them a point adrift of leaders Wales after three games.
The original match three weeks ago was called off at late notice due to freezing conditions.
This time around Ireland, bidding for their first win in the French capital since 2000, made a fast start with Jonathan Sexton missing an easy chance for three points in front of the posts.
But the embarrassing miss was soon forgotten as Bowe continued his heroics with his pair of tries – taking his tally to five for the tournament in three games – and Sexton converted both.
He also slotted over a penalty with Morgan Parra scoring two for the French as they trailed 17-6 at the break.
But France were a transformed team in the final 40 minutes and Wesley Fofana crashed over for a try – making it three in three matches – and allied to two more penalties by Parra leveled the scores.
France were pressing at the end, but a pair of drop goal attempts were charged down as the Irish deservedly held on for a draw.
Visiting captain Paul O’Connell was disappointed they were not able to convert their first half dominance into a victory.
“There’s certainly a big feeling of defeat and an opportunity lost,” he told BBC Sport.
“We scored an intercept try and one really good, well worked try.
“We then conceded a really soft, poor try and we’re really disappointed with our second half performance,” he added.