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Missed opportunity for disappointed Irish.

BRIAN O'Driscoll voiced Ireland's heartache following their agonising 25-22 RBS Six Nations defeat by France at Aviva Stadium yesterday.

Tries from Fergus McFadden, Tomas O'Leary and Jamie Heaslip were not enough to prevent the champions from leaving Dublin with a second win of the tournament. And O'Driscoll (pictured right) viewed the afternoon as a missed opportunity after Ireland were once again undermined by their error count.

"We had a chance with three minutes to go. We were 10 yards from their line, they were scrambling but we coughed up another ball," said the captain.

"I thought we were going to do to them what they did to us at Croke Park four years ago when they won in the last minute, but again we coughed up the ball too easily.

"There are just little things that need tweaking, but these are the fine lines between winning and losing Test matches."

Ireland staged a late do-or-die assault but France responded with some desperate defence to secure their ninth victory in the last 10 meetings between the Six Nations rivals. Head coach Declan Kidney refused to take consolation from an ambitious and at times scintillating display undermined by the number of mistakes.

"The feeling is that's an opportunity lost. We had too many turnovers," said Kidney. "We won the trycount 3-1 but still lost the match so we'll have to look again at the penalties to see which ones were under our control." Meanwhile, an angry Sean Lamont called for Scotland's players to come together for a frank and open honesty session following Saturday's capitulation to Wales.

Scotland suffered a 24-6 reverse to lie alongside Italy at the foot of the tournament standings.

With matches against Ireland on February 27 and England away on March 13 to come, Scotland face the prospect of a wooden spoon play-off against Italy on March 19. And Lamont is fed up with always coming up short, rather than challenging for the title. He said: "It was abysmal. The boys need to go away and have a look at themselves."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Feb 14, 2011
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