KEITH Wood, Ireland's awesomely brave leader, had his body bruised and his heart broken as his team were finally overcome by Grand Slam favourites France 18-16
Hooker Wood had spent much of the middle spell of an unpredictably close contest that defied forecasts by lying on the turf being treated.
When he went off just before the hour one of the biggest upsets in Five Nations history was in prospect.
But Wood's exit signalled some activity from France and Philippe Bernat-Salles ran in the first French try before captain Raphael Ibanez won the match for his hugely relieved nation.
The hollow victory belonged to Ibanez, but Wood's side enjoyed as …