Ireland v France in Paris (6 Nations)
Venue: Stade de France
Referee: David Pearson (England)
It’s been a few weeks since I last reviewed a test match. This is a not for profit venture so sometimes work and family commitments come first.
Now to this game. This is the test match that was due 11 February but was called off at the last minute due to a frozen pitch.
Ireland has chosen the same XV that were to play on the 11th. Such is Declan Kidney’s faith in his charges. In fact the Irish side has remained unchanged in all three starting line ups. Their second half performance against Italy last weekend was thorough and saw the Irish able to put the opposition to the sword. This has not been the script by the Irish of recent seasons-THAT test against Australia at the 2011 Rugby World Cup apart!
France have a strong scrum. This is, at present, their strength. A new coach wont have had much influence over what has always been their strength. What has to happen is the gel with attack, defence and the lineout. That will take some time for a new coach to sort out. When they do watch out opposition. We all know what France can do. In recent seasons the French have been very inconsistent from one game to the next. Commentators have asked which French side will turn up today? The sublime? Or the awful? The supporters will want the former.
Last Five Encounters
20.08.2011 France 26-22 in Dublin (World Cup Warm up)
13.08.2011 France 19-12 in Bordeaux (World Cup Warm up)
13.02.2011 France 25-22 in Dublin (6 Nations)
13.02.2010 France 33-10 in Paris (6 Nations)
07.02.2009 Ireland 31-20 in Dublin (6 Nations)
Ireland last won in Paris in 2000 and before that in 1972. Paris has never been a happy ground for Ireland
Ireland last Five
25.02.2012 v Italy W 42-10 in Dublin (6 Nations)
05.02.2012 v Wales L 21-23 in Dublin (6 Nations)
08.10.2011 v Wales L 10-22 in Wellington (World Cup, Quarter Final)
02.10.2011 v Italy W 36-6 in Dunedin (World Cup, Pool C)
25.09.2011 v Russia W 62-12 in Rotorua (World Cup, Pool C)
France Last Five
26.02.2012 v Scotland W 23-17 at Murrayfield (6 Nations)
04.02.2012 v Italy W 30-12 in Paris (6 Nations)
23.01.2011 v New Zealand L 7-8 in Auckland (World Cup, Final)
15.10.2011 v Wales W 9-8 in Auckland (World Cup, Semi-Final)
08.10.2011 v England W 19-12 in Auckland (World Cup, Quarter Final)
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-France 4th, Ireland 6th
Europe Table-France 1st, Ireland 5th
IRB Ranking Points
France 85.06, Ireland 79.44
Prediction: France by 7 points
15 Robert Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Gordon D'Arcy,
11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Heaslip,
7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Paul O'Connell, Capt. 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Michael Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy.
16 Sean Cronin, 17 Thomas Court, 18 Donnacha Ryan, 19 Peter O'Mahony,
20 Eoin Reddan, 21 Ronan O'Gara, 22 Fergus McFadden.
Head Coach: Declan Kidney
15 Clément Poitrenaud, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Aurélien Rougerie,
12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Julien Malzieu, 10 François Trinh-Duc, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Julien Bonnaire, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, Capt. 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Papé, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Jean-Baptiste Poux.
16 William Servat, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Lionel Nallet, 19 Louis Picamoles,
20 Julien Dupuy, 21 Lionel Beauxis, 22 Maxime Mermoz.