Ireland finally answer the call to trounce France and set up Six Nations decider against Wales
EASILY the best Irish performance of the Six Nations campaign saw Joe Schmidt’s team completely dominate France and set up a mouth-watering title decider against unbeaten Wales next week.
Ireland have dragged themselves back into contention for the Six Nations championship following the disastrous opening-day defeat to England at the Aviva Stadium.
In the end the scoreline, if anything, flattered the French found themselves 19-0 down at the break.
Johnny Sexton scored 11 points as Ireland eventually found their 2018 form which saw them climb to second in the world rankings.
After three unconvincing performances, the champions finally produced the good for Schmidt in his last competitive home Six Nations game.
Ireland led 19-0 at the break through tries from Rory Best, Sexton and Jack Conan. And they put the game firmly to bed in the 56th when Keith Earls crossed the line to secure a crucial bonus-point win.
But Ireland must now beat grand-slam chasers Wales on Saturday and hope that Scotland can produce an upset in Twickenham against England later the same day in order to retain their crown.