Sexton snatches Irish victory

International
AAP
by AAP

Johnny Sexton's monster drop-goal gave Ireland a last-gasp 15-13 Six Nations victory over France in Paris.

The fly-half landed a long-range kick in the third minute of added time, to pinch Joe Schmidt's side a victory on Saturday that had appeared already lost.

Teddy Thomas' mazy solo try looked to have floored Ireland, as France conjured a 13-12 lead from nowhere in Jacques Brunel's first game as Les Bleus boss.

Jonny Sexton slotted the winning drop goal against France. Photo: Getty ImagesBut just when Ireland appeared beaten, Sexton unleashed a stunning drop-goal to wrestle victory - and keep hopes alive of a Grand Slam decider with England at Twickenham on March 17.

Ireland appeared in control for the majority of the match but Schmidt's men almost crumbled after the otherwise reliable Sexton missed a regulation penalty just past the hour.

The previously subdued France summoned fresh levels of zeal and grit - and Ireland came so close to finding no answer to Thomas' scything finish.

Replacement fly-half Anthony Belleau then slotted the conversion that so nearly secured France's one-point victory.

But after Belleau failed with a testing penalty effort, Ireland rallied once more, with Sexton taking the glory - and then being mobbed on the field by his team-mates. 

RESULT

France 13

Tries: Thomas

Cons: Belleau

Pens: Machenaud 

Ireland 15

Pens: Sexton 4

Drop: Sexton

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