France may have narrowly missed out on the 2020 Guinness Six Nations title but No.8 Gregory Alldritt was proud of how they performed in victory against Ireland.
Alldritt was named Guinness Six Nations Player of the Match for his all-action display at the Stade de France that saw Les Bleus score four tries in a 35-27 win against their fellow title contenders.
However, in the end it was England who were crowned champions, beating France on points difference following their 34-5 win in Italy earlier on Super Saturday.
Tries from Antoine Dupont, Romain Ntamack and Virimi Vakatawa – as well as a penalty try – were enough to see off Ireland, who were themselves seeking the title.
But no player did more than Alldritt, who was industrious in defence and sharp on the ball.
“They [Ireland] were coming to win the Championship so we had to focus to win the game. We are happy we got the job done,” he said.
France started strongly, with Dupont racing clear to score their first try of the night after Gael Fickou’s inside pass.
Ireland responded through Cian Healy’s try and then took the lead when Johnny Sexton booted through a penalty.
But France regrouped – and Alldritt helped them to flip the match on its head.
France chipped the ball into Ireland’s 22 and a strong kick-chase put pressure on covering Ireland full-back Jacob Stockdale, who spilled it at the feet of Alldritt.
The No.8 picked it up, kicked forwards and seemed destined to score a try before he was brought down by Caelan Doris. Referee Wayne Barnes awarded a penalty try and send Doris to the sin-bin.
It was another standout moment in an excellent Championship for Alldritt, who admits he still gets goosebumps when he goes up against the likes of opposite number CJ Stander.
“CJ is a fantastic player. I was looking at the TV four years ago with stars in my eyes watching players like him, so it was great to play against him. What an incredible player he is.”
France came out of the blocks firing in the second half, with tires from Ntamack and Vakatawa sealing the win.