Andy Farrell and James Ryan have stood over the decision to go for three points with eight minutes to go in Paris when Ireland were half-a-dozen in arrears and in need of a converted try to claim the win from their Six Nations tussle with France.
Joey Carbery converted the resultant kick to bring the deficit back to three but Melvyn Jaminet responded in kind with two minutes to play to ensure that the hosts would take the majority of the spoils at the Stade de France.
“We just felt like it was the right decision at the time,” said Ryan who was Ireland captain in place of the injured Johnny Sexton.
“We were imposing our game on them in that period. We felt confident in our attack and we thought we could bring the game to three points and we backed ourselves to go and win the game then off the back of that.”
Ireland had done brilliantly to make the game a going concern in those last minutes. Ten-nil down early on, they trailed 22-7 at one point before launching a second-half comeback, but that penalty call generated considerable debate at the time and afterwards.
Tine was limited and they had the upper hand on the hosts.
“It’s the right decision, there is no doubt about that,” said Farrell, the Ireland head coach. “They feel the game, they are in the moment, they understand what is happening.
“There is plenty of time left, we have a lineout after that when we were a couple of points down.”
We had a lineout and an opportunity to go and score the try and we didn’t and that’s the game so I back them to make those calls.
Ireland did at least deprive France of a bonus point win while claiming a losing bonus for themselves. In that sense the destination of the Six Nations title remains a going concern even if a Grand Slam is off the menu.
The game marked a first Six Nations start for Joey Carbery who was elevated to the starting line-up after Johnny Sexton went down with a hamstring injury during the week in training. Farrell was happy with how the understu