Last-gasp Sexton drop-goal stuns France

Marie Harrington
February 6, 2018

Questions will be asked after HIA protocols allowed France to replace fly-half Mathieu Jalibert and substitute halfback Antoine Dupont left the field in Paris on Saturday (Sunday NZ time) with what appeared to be knee injuries. And I don't think he was really thinking too much about history, he just stepped and seized the moment and he did it with absolute aplomb.

France were reprimanded for not following HIA protocols relating to a change of props during the conclusion of their Six Nations victory over Wales in Paris past year. It was hard to clear our ball a number of times but we didn't appear to be going to get much of a chance there.

Welwyn Garden City's Megan Williams will make her Ireland debut as their 2018 NatWest Six Nations gets underway in France. Lovelace added: "Scotland won't be surprising anyone this season, because their Six Nations rivals will not be taking them lightly after some impressive results from this young exciting side a year ago".

Joe Schmidt's men will be looking to get their campaign off to a winning start given their recent record against the French, who have won only one of the last seven meetings between the sides.

It doesn't matter if he's paired with experience.

Jalibert, 19, has enjoyed a meteoric rise since Brunel handed him his club bow earlier this season, and will partner Maxime Machenaud at half-back at the Stade de France.

"It's about balance because putting Matthieu Jalibert at fly-half, there's an obvious inexperience in that respect", added Brunel.

More news: Wales thrash Scotland in Six Nations

And Brunel gave short shrift to suggestions his side could be on a hiding to nothing.

"I was just happy to get another chance to get victory for the boys", said Sexton after his drop-goal heroics.

"I'm very happy that we're no good, useless, rubbish, considered the fifth best (above only Italy) in the competition".

"All our goals would've crumbled if we'd lost." the British and Irish Lion told the BBC.

"Everyone is making the step up, you see [21-year-old lock] James Ryan making the step up as well". We are behind them when it comes to this, but not when it comes to styling for a match. Any nerves he might have had would have been when he was selected (for the squad two weeks ago) because that's when everyone took an interest in him.

The 19-year-old Jalibert, who will make his worldwide debut at the Stade de France three months after starting his first Top 14 match with Bordeaux-Begles, has been paired with the in-form Maxime Machenaud after Morgan Parra was ruled out injured.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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