There was a feeling of disappointment in the Irish camp after throwing away a winning position against France to draw 17-17 in Paris on Sunday.
Two-try winger Tommy Bowe gave his side an 11-point half-time lead but Les Bleus came storming back after the break and ultimately ended Ireland’s Six Nations hopes.
“To score two tries in Paris is a great achievement but nobody enjoys coming away with a draw. We showed good composure in the last ten minutes,” said Bowe.
“Our first-half display was outstanding but we were under a lot of pressure at the end and did well to avoid giving away a penalty, which was crucial.”
Ireland coach Declan Kidney was left to rue a sloppy second half and admitted his team failed to play for the full 80 minutes. People looking at the Ireland Six Nations betting odds will have been disappointed by the way they let things slip.
“The boys put in a huge effort but we have to look at the second half and examine why we let France camp in our half for so long and enjoy so much possession,” said Kidney.
“We now have a six day turnaround before the Scotland match – that’s the challenge set to us and we’ll rise to it.”
Ireland went into the game in France needing a win to keep their faint title hopes alive. The draw left them three points behind Wales with two games to play. An unenviable task has become an improbable one and the Betfair Rugby Betting Odds reflect this.
Paul O’Connell was left to reflect on an opportunity missed as Ireland yet again failed to win on French soil. Ireland have won just once in France since 1972.
“We were in a good position but they came out with all guns blazing in the second half,” said the Ireland skipper.
“It’s frustrating as you don’t get many opportunities to win here but we didn’t take our chance.”