Saturday, March 15, 2014

6 NATIONS TEST RUGBY: Ireland v France

Venue: Stade de France, Paris

Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)

Ireland only has to win to clearly take the 6 Nations Championship. A win to France would then mean France and England (and Ireland) of course have mathematical opportunities to win the title. For Ireland to win history is against them.

Ireland have won only once on Paris in the last 40 odd years. That was in 2000. In their last two outings Ireland have drawn with France. So for Ireland things are, statistically, looking up.

From the starting line ups one would give the nod to Ireland. They have more experience and more performance consistency. France has been at sixes and sevens and have lacked consistency and try scoring ability.

It would a fitting farewell to Irish rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll for a win in Paris and a 6 Nations title to end his long career.

But it would be foolish to right off the French, especially at home and especially with their backs to the wall.

Last Five Encounters
09.03.2013 Drawn 13-13 in Dublin (6 Nations)
04.03.2013 Drawn 17-17 in Paris (6 Nations)
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)

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table: Ireland 5th, France 7th
Europe Table: Ireland 2nd, France 4th

IRB Ranking Points
France 81.44, Ireland 80.76

Prediction: Ireland to hold composure under intense pressure and win by 1 point




15   Robert Kearney Leinster
14   Andrew Trimble Ulster
13   Brian O'Driscoll  Leinster
12   Gordon D'Arcy Leinster
11   David Kearney Leinster
10   Jonathan Sexton  Racing-Metro 92, France
9   Conor Murray  Munster
8   James Heaslip  Leinster
7   Christopher Henry Ulster
6   Peter O'Mahony  Munster
5   Paul O'Connell Munster
4   Devin Toner  Leinster
3   Michael Ross  Leinster
2   Rory Best  Ulster
1   Cian Healy  Leinster
16   Sean Cronin  Leinster
17   Jack McGrath  Leinster
18   Martin Moore Leinster
19   Iain Henderson Ulster
20   Jordi Murphy Leinster
21   Eoin Reddan Leinster
22   Ian Madigan Leinster
23   Fergus McFadden Leinster
    HEAD COACH: Joseph Schmidt



15   Brice Dulin  Castres Olympique
14   Yoann Huget  Aviron Bayonnais
13   Mathieu Bastareaud  RC Toulonnais
12   Gael Fickou  Stade Toulousain
11   Maxime Médard Stade Toulousain
10   Remi Tálès Castres Olympique
9   Maxime Machenaud  Racing-Metro 92
8   Damien Chouly  ASM Clermont Auvergne
7   Alexandre Lapandry ASM Clermont Auvergne
6   Louis Picamoles Stade Toulousain
5   Yoann Maestri  Stade Toulousain
4   Pascal Pape (Capt.) Stade Français
3   Nicolas Mas  US Arlequins Perpignan
2   Dimitri Szarzewski Racing-Metro 92
1   Thomas Domingo  ASM Clermont Auvergne
16   Guilhem Guirado US Arlequins Perpignan
17   Vincent Debaty ASM Clermont Auvergne
18   Rabah Slimani  Stade Français
19   Alexandre Flanquart  Stade Français
20   Sébastien Vahaamahina US Arlequins Perpignan
21   Wenceslas Lauret Racing-Metro 92
22   Jean-Marc Doussain  Stade Toulousain
23   Maxime Mermoz RC Toulonnais
    HEAD COACH: Philippe Saint-André

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