Ireland 26-14 France: Six Nations

France's centre Gael Fickou ) is tackled by Ireland's centre Bundee Aki

However, that would also require an England slip-up against Scotland at Twickenham.

"I think that was a lot closer to how we want to be known and how we want to play", Best, who opened the scoring after three minutes, said in a pitchside interview.

Above all in need of a performance to banish some of those doubts, Ireland got just that and utterly outclassed a French side that, not for the first time in this year's championship, looked completely out of their depth.

Ireland outclassed a poor French side with a 26-14 scoreline that flattered the visitors ahead of a final trip to Cardiff next weekend where they could upset Wales' grand slam hopes and even win the title if results go their way.

Simply ending Wales' national record winning streak at 13 matches will go a long way to further boosting Irish confidence that was restored as soon as Best touched down in the corner.

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Speaking after the game on Virgin Media, an emotional Schmidt reflected on his home Six Nations finale after being asked by Sinead Kissane whether he will miss being in the coaching box at the Aviva Stadium.

Rory Best's early score off a rolling maul set the tone early as Ireland passed up a number of kickable penalties, instead opting to seek the all-important bonus-point at every opportunity.

"When you're playing, you start to get fixated with what's coming, or if you're playing well in this Six Nations you put yourself in the window for the World Cup".

Wing Keith Earls scored Ireland's only try in the second spell, surging through the France defence after an inside ball by No 8 C J Stander. The British & Irish Lion recently announced that he would move to London Irish after this autumn's World Cup.

"Where we were last time we sat in this room, I think it's taken a while but there was a bit of our rhythm back today", Schmidt told a news conference, referring to their opening home defeat by England five weeks ago.

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