MAN OF THE MATCH
Sean O’Brien - Ireland won this game at the breakdown where Peter O’Mahony and Sean O’Brien were immense. O’Brien gets the nod for playing the 80 minutes, and carrying particularly well in the closing quarter. His future participation at the World Cup is in question after body punch on Pape.
Rob Kearney - 8: Counter attacked to telling effect. Powered over with fervour for the opening try.
Tommy Bowe - 8: Did his best work when he came looking for work infield and was highly involved in Ireland’s attacking play. Made a wonderful break off a set-piece move in the first-half.
Keith Earls - 7: Made one mistake in the first-half when he should have scored a try. That apart he shut down Mathieu Bastareaud by consistently tackling low and made incisive passes for teammates.
Robbie Henshaw - 9: Put in a standout performance. Was game for everything the French threw at him and ran consistently with great zeal. Made the telling break that led to Ireland’s first try and was a constant thorn in France’s side.
Dave Kearney - 7: Didn’t see much of the ball but tackled and chased Murray’s box kicks as if his life depended on it.
Jonathon Sexton - 7: Was limping two minutes before the terrific hit by Picamoles saw him leave the field.
Conor Murray - 8: Made a good decision to switch the play for Ireland’s first try and scored the second. Ran the game in the second-half and consistently made good decisions
Cian Healy - 7: Gave everything he had, but got pinged a few times for penalty infringements. Scrummed well.
Rory Best - 9: Back to his highest level on the most important occasion. Might have touched down for Ireland’s second try but had the wherewithal to recycle it quickly to ensure Murray scored. Excellent at the breakdown.
Mike Ross - 7: Anchored the scrum and emptied the tank before he was replaced.
Devin Toner - 9: Had a very good game. Tackled and carried well and had a huge influence in disrupting France’s lineout.
Paul O'Connell - 7: Stretchered off at half-time but battled bravely until his hamstring gave way.
Peter O'Mahony - 10: For 55 minutes, he was the best player on the field. Simply sensational at the breakdown and immense throughout.
Sean O'Brien - 10: Was at his ferocious best. Put his body through the grinder and carried particularly well in the last 20. Will get cited for body punch on Pape.
Jamie Heaslip - 8: Took up the mantle of leadership in the second-half and played his part in a dominant Irish back-row display in the second-half.
Jack McGrath - 8: Made a telling contribution from the bench. Carried and tackled hard and helped the Irish scrum gain dominance in the final quarter.
Nathan White - 8: Helped Ireland win three scrum penalties in the final quarter.
Richardt Strauss: Not on long enough to be rated.
Iain Henderson - 10: Took over the game when he came on in the second-half. Got over the gain line almost every time he touched the ball and consistently drove the French back in the tackle.
Chris Henry - 8: Took up where O’Mahony left off upon his introduction.
Eoin Reddan: Not on long enough to be rated.
Ian Madigan - 8: Attacked the game from the minute he stepped on the field, but came close to overdoing it at times. Kicked well from placed ball.
Luke Fitzgerald - 7: Worked hard in the final minutes as he looked to impress.