Ireland vs France - Report - Six Nations 2019 - 10 Mar, 2019

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Watch: Joe Schmidt lauds Ireland's ability to stifle French challenge

Despite losing their opening Guinness Six Nations encounter to England, Ireland could yet be crowned Six Nations champions next Saturday in Cardiff.

20 minutes into the second half Ireland had their bonus-point thanks to this lovely lineout move straight out of Joe Schmidt's playbook.

The result was never in doubt after hooker and captain Rory Best - playing possibly his last Six Nations game at home - crashed over in the third minute at Aviva Stadium on Sunday (Monday NZ time).

The hosts only had to wait five more minutes for another as they began to pick off the overwhelmed visitors at will with replacement Conan giving his side a 19-0 halftime lead that could easily have been twice that with a little more accuracy.

Still, despite controlling over 90 percent of the territory, it took Ireland until the 30th minute to add a second try as Sexton, back to his best in tandem with Conor Murray at halfback, scored from one of his trademark looped runs.

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"And if you play well in the World Cup there's two more Six Nations and you're in the window to the Lions tour".

"I think we just wanted to go out and attack today, whether we had the ball or not". We'll go there with the encouragement that we know we can be a lot better as well.

Ireland are now tasked with denying Wales a Grand Slam when the sides meet in Cardiff on Saturday. It's going to be a proper Six Nations test match.

If they are to retain the Six Nations, Ireland must not only beat Wales but hope that England fail to defeat Scotland at Twickenham.

Even after next week, Best's work with Ireland is far from done, with the small matter of the World Cup on the horizon.

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