m3n4.net
m3n4.net February 22, 2018


France face investigation over 'head injury assessments'

06 February 2018, 01:43 | Tracey Rhodes

Schmidt for all his talents has a mediocre recent record in the Six NationsOISIN KENIRY INPHO

Schmidt for all his talents has a mediocre recent record in the Six Nations

A confident but cautious Ireland open their campaign against inexperienced France in Paris on Saturday.

At a time when concussion and head injuries are so firmly in the spotlight, the introduction of the Head Injury Assessment (HIA) has been important.

Sexton's 44-meter drop goal nearly three minutes into injury time stunned the Stade de France as the host thought it would prevail after a splendid late try by wing Teddy Thomas.

Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton appeared to challenge referee Nigel Owens after Dupont's departure on 75 minutes.

England have lost only once in 23 matches under Jones, but that defeat came against Ireland and denied them a Grand Slam past year.

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"Wales are unusual outsiders at 15/1 to go all the way despite having the experienced British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland, this is mainly down to them missing a host of star players through injury and introducing a new brand of free-flowing rugby".

"It's great that the Scarlets have made the quarterfinals of Europe, we've got players coming in with confidence and self-belief", Gatland said.

Owens seemed dubious by this point, checking repeatedly that it was a HIA, but he was not going to overrule the independent doctor.

France coach Jacques Brunel named an experimental-looking side Thursday for his first match in charge since replacing Guy Noves, who was sacked after failing to win any of the four matches in the November test series.

The 32-year-old kicked all of Ireland's points.

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Belleau missed a penalty with two minutes left, giving Ireland one more chance to push for a score.

Ireland full-back Rob Kearney hailed the dramatic finish and Sexton's last-gasp drop goal.

Brunel, who took over from Guy Noves after a poor November series, banked on Jalibert to instill some life into the French team, but the 19-year-old limped off the field after half an hour.

"It's pretty hard to explain how you feel when you think that the game has gone away and you've let it slip and then suddenly you've grabbed it", Schmidt told a news conference, praising the team effort that allowed the flyhalf to attempt his drop goal.

"He's very sure of himself under the opponent's kicks, which will be very useful against Ireland", said Brunel, adding that Palis might take the longer penalty kicks.

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"We're up against a team in full confidence who had a great previous year (2017), beating England and winning all their November tests", he said.



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