Sexton’s boot again helps Irish down France 19-9 in Dublin

DUBLIN (AP) Another perfect goalkicking effort by Jonathan Sexton led Ireland over France 19-9 in an often sloppy, rain-soaked Six Nations rugby match on Saturday.

Sexton hit two penalties, converted the only try, and struck a 40-meter dropped goal before leaving in the 68th minute of his first match in five weeks, and his first match for Ireland since November following injuries.

France mounted a ferocious first-quarter attack to lead 6-0 on two Camille Lopez penalty kicks.

Ireland seized momentum with a try from close range by Conor Murray. Sexton’s conversion put Ireland up 7-6.

The Irish failed to convert sustained pressure into more first-half points, twice turning the ball over inside France’s five-meter line.

Lopez converted a 73rd-minute penalty to pull France within 16-9, but substitute Irish flyhalf Paddy Jackson hit his own three minutes later to deny France a losing bonus point.