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Match preview & thread: FRA vs IRE (Sat Feb 3, 1645)

  • 02-02-2018 6:31am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 4,191 ✭✭✭ swiwi_


    Date: Saturday, February 3
    Venue: Stade de France, Paris
    Kick-off: 17:45 local (16:45 GMT)
    Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
    Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
    TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)


    FRANCE: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Rémi Lamerat, 12 Henry Chavancy, 11 Virimi Vakatawa, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Kevin Gourdon, 7 Yacouba Camara, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 4 Arthur Iturria, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado (c), 1 Jefferson Poirot

    Replacements: 16 Adrien Pelissié, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Paul Gabrillagues, 20 Marco Tauleigne, 21 Antoine Dupont, 22 Anthony Belleau, 23 Benjamin Fall


    IRELAND: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 James Ryan, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy

    Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 John Ryan, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Dan Leavy, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Fergus McFadden


    The build-up to this week’s much anticipated opening round of the 6N and Ireland’s clash with les Tricolores has been dominated by a series of appalling puns from posters who really should know better.

    Fortunately this poster steered well clear of such frivolities, and instead devoted himself to a detailed analysis of the respective starting XVs, their benches, and the physical and mental state of Monsieur Brunel and Herr Schmidt.

    So without further ado, let’s have a look at those who will do battle - but hopefully not die more than figuratively - for their countries. Ireland come off the back of an eminently successful international autumn series, where they were expected to win, and did just that. With style. In fact the win over South Africa was something of a statement. Allowing for the loss to, and return from, injury, Joe Schmidt has stuck with the core of the players who did the Green shirt proud.

    Notwithstanding Leinster provincial form, there is possibly a slight surprise in seeing Healy preferred to McGrath, and in a bold move J Ryan has been preferred to Devin Toner at lock. Please note that that is James Ryan and not John Ryan – there is bold and then there is just f*ck*n stupid. A fair amount of electronic print has been spilt on the forum debating the form of POM and Stander, but I 100% support their selection at this stage as their at times mediocre Munster showings have not so far translated into poor international offerings. If they keep performing for Ireland, Uncle Joe will not be too concerned about provincial form.

    Turning to the backs, and for the first time ever (at least since I follow Ireland), there is a real feel of a NZ-style backline, with a power 12, who has more to his game than simply muscle, and some dashing outside backs: a rejuvenated Kearney, an impressive Earls in the last 18 months or so, and the up-and-coming highly talented Stockdale. A few rough edges on Jacob, yet, but he looks a keeper. All this, alloyed to the world class half-back pairing of Murray and Sexton. Off the Irish bench, I’m probably most intrigued to see what Leavy and Carberry can bring.

    Turning to France, and on first viewing I’d say they have a strong midfield, an exciting openside (Camara), although from memory he might be more of a 6, and a solid front row. There are quite a few unknowns in this French side, not least their flyhalf, whom I’m guessing most haven’t heard of before, let alone see play. On their bench, Dany Priso has had a couple of decent games for La Rochelle - he brings some speedy impact a bit like Sean Cronin.

    In terms of the game, I expect Ireland to be highly structured and well organised. The main question will be the ability to adapt if things don’t go as planned, which unfortunately often means Sexton limping off after 20 minutes or so after some courageous but ultimately injury-inducing tackle. Hopefully, he won’t be illegally targeted. The basics of the set-piece, highly organised defence etc are a given with Ireland these days, but it will be interesting to see how expansive Ireland’s play is, with the 6N retaining the bonus point into the foreseeable future.

    France I expect to start with a degree of fire and brimstone, it sounds like the new coach is popular in the camp, and they do have some talented players. But talent alone rarely cuts it at top international level, and unless they have a degree of structure and and a plan to unlock Ireland’s defence, they will come up short.

    Prediction: I expect this game to be fairly close for 50 to 60 minutes, but Ireland to pull away with 10 points or so to spare. No repeat of last year please, with an insipid first up defeat. Sláinte!


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,360 NollagShona


    IRE or IRL?


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,582 ✭✭✭✭ stephen_n


    swiwi_ wrote: »




    **I will insert the preview here before the sun sets today - c'est promis!**

    With tables and pictures of course? There are standards to be kept!


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭ Buer


    IRE or IRL?

    The question is whether the use of IRL would prompt ire from some quarters?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,191 ✭✭✭ swiwi_


    Buer wrote: »
    The question is whether the use of IRL would prompt ire from some quarters?

    For those wondering, yes I also post under the pseudonym Buer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,178 Quint2010


    Three out of four BBC pundits-Guscott, Davies, POC have tipped Ireland for the championship with only Andy Nicol tipping England. Very surprising. All four also name checked Lamour as their young player to watch out for.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,582 ✭✭✭✭ stephen_n


    Quint2010 wrote: »
    Three out of four BBC pundits-Guscott, Davies, POC have tipped Ireland for the championship with only Andy Nicol tipping England. Very surprising. All four also name checked Lamour as their young player to watch out for.

    I’m sure Eddie Jones would love that, England have to be favorites by virtue of the fact they have us at home. I reckon we will either do the slam or they will probably win the championship, if they haven’t won all their games enroute to Paddy’s day.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,360 NollagShona


    Buer wrote: »
    The question is whether the use of IRL would prompt ire from some quarters?

    IRL or just online?


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭ Buer


    swiwi_ wrote: »
    For those wondering, yes I also post under the pseudonym Buer.

    YAGpXPd.png


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,836 ✭✭✭ Rattlehead_ie


    I'd hope to think, Ireland should be able to do this and maybe even take a bonus point back home. They are the more structured team, well trained, well disciplined and know their roles 1 - 23.

    However, while you never underestimate a French side. I would be a lil fearful of a team with nothing to lose, new coach, couple of newbies with a "throw it around" attitude and honestly the French fans probably would be more forgiving to a French side with such a new structure on and off pitch at least for the 1st game at least.

    Still, heart and head says Ireland by 12


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,710 ✭✭✭✭ Interested Observer


    I'm a little concerned by our backrow tomorrow. We only have one ball carrier in it and he (imo) is a little off his game and has been for a while. If we just try to play this one out runner stuff we're so fond of then I think we'll struggle.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,056 ✭✭✭✭ Sangre


    I'm a little concerned by our backrow tomorrow. We only have one ball carrier in it and he (imo) is a little off his game and has been for a while. If we just try to play this one out runner stuff we're so fond of then I think we'll struggle.

    Usually I'd agree but our whole tight five are competent ball carriers so should make up for it. We also have quite a big backline.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,648 ✭✭✭ aloooof


    I'm a little concerned by our backrow tomorrow. We only have one ball carrier in it and he (imo) is a little off his game and has been for a while. If we just try to play this one out runner stuff we're so fond of then I think we'll struggle.

    I think this is why Schmidt favoured Ryan over Toner in the 2nd row, to give an added ball carrier around the park and still allow him to pick the backrow he did. Personally, I really like the balance in our backrow, I'm expecting VdF to get through an amount of work and really put pressure on Jalibert.

    I wonder will we kick to their debutant FB much as well?


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,371 ✭✭✭✭ molloyjh


    With Healy, Furlong, Henderson, Ryan and Stander we should be okay for ball carriers. And both Aki and Henshaw can fill in there if needed too. I wouldn't be at all worried about that element of our game. We have McGrath, Ryan and Leavy on the bench then too from that perspective.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,998 ✭✭✭ kuang1


    So I've just had a conversation with a mate of mine.
    We were trying to figure out a way in which Ireland could lose this game tomorrow. (Assuming team bus is on time, that we don't suffer 4 injuries in the first 7 minutes, no sendings off etc.)

    We couldn't answer our own question.
    This worries me though. Every team is beatable in this competition...so barring freaky incidents, how could this game play out, and we lose?

    Edit: genuine question.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,466 ✭✭✭ budhabob


    kuang1 wrote: »
    So I've just had a conversation with a mate of mine.
    We were trying to figure out a way in which Ireland could lose this game tomorrow. (Assuming team bus is on time, that we don't suffer 4 injuries in the first 7 minutes, no sendings off etc.)

    We couldn't answer our own question.
    This worries me though. Every team is beatable in this competition...so barring freaky incidents, how could this game play out, and we lose?

    Edit: genuine question.

    They score more points than us?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,998 ✭✭✭ kuang1


    budhabob wrote: »
    They score more points than us?

    And here's a jelly for you. Very good.
    Now for 2 jellies...
    How do they manage to score more points than us?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,065 ✭✭✭ ClanofLams


    Ireland should have enough to win this with a degree of comfort. A week ago I was very confident they would do so but the closer we get to k.o time the more I get a nagging feeling that the French are going to make this very tricky.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 51,489 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Stheno


    kuang1 wrote: »
    And here's a jelly for you. Very good.
    Now for 2 jellies...
    How do they manage to score more points than us?

    Healy has one of his brainfarts and gets sent off?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,065 ✭✭✭ ClanofLams


    Ireland can very conceivably lose, a first half like we saw in Murrayfield last year would be enough. They should win however.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,998 ✭✭✭ kuang1


    Stheno wrote: »
    Healy has one of his brainfarts and gets sent off?

    Well I was asking while applying the assumption that there'd be no bizarre stuff like an early red card.
    (Who'd be most likely to get a red actually...Aki?
    Healy? Sexton?)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    kuang1 wrote: »
    So I've just had a conversation with a mate of mine.
    We were trying to figure out a way in which Ireland could lose this game tomorrow. (Assuming team bus is on time, that we don't suffer 4 injuries in the first 7 minutes, no sendings off etc.)

    We couldn't answer our own question.
    This worries me though. Every team is beatable in this competition...so barring freaky incidents, how could this game play out, and we lose?

    Edit: genuine question.

    Irish set piece falls apart. Jalibert plays a very simple but effective game on his debut, kicks well into the corners, Irish set piece failure prevents us getting out of our own half, France win a tight scrappy game.


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 33,061 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pickarooney


    The most likely route to a French win is an early try and successful use of their back row to run at small spaces, offload from the floor and basically catch Ireland napping.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,998 ✭✭✭ kuang1


    Irish set piece falls apart. Jalibert plays a very simple but effective game on his debut, kicks well into the corners, Irish set piece failure prevents us getting out of our own half, France win a tight scrappy game.

    Indeed.
    Someone had said (could have been you ibf but not sure) that there'll be a lot of weight on Best's shoulders to get the lineouts bang on. Which is v true.
    That was probably the main contributing reason to the debacle in Murrayfield last year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,065 ✭✭✭ ClanofLams


    The backline is solid. Would have slight concern over Stockdale - nothing to do with his ability, think he’s likely to be starting for Ireland for the best part of a decade fitness providing but he has had a rough month so hopefully his confidence hasn’t been dented.

    Main worry would be lineout, lot of focus on Best going in, Toner not calling it for the first time in the 6N in years (probably?) won’t help.

    Backrow needs to deliver. POM and Stander usually step up but neither are in their best form.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,371 ✭✭✭✭ molloyjh


    kuang1 wrote: »
    And here's a jelly for you. Very good.
    Now for 2 jellies...
    How do they manage to score more points than us?

    Maybe they perform really well? It's highly unlikely, but the thing with the French is that it's not utterly unheard of that they buck the trend of recent form to beat a team that are favoured by all and sundry. There are some very talented individuals in that side let's not forget.

    The weather is meant to be a bit crappy tomorrow as well. I don't think that will help us as it could see the game being dragged into a bit of a dogfight, like 2 years ago. And any low scoring game in the 6Ns can go either way. They just need to be stubborn and dogged and they can stay in the game, which is all they'll need up to the last 10. Personally I'd prefer a clear, dry day where we can look to play a bit more.

    Still though, we are rightly favourites for this. If we turn up and deliver even 90% of what we're capable of we should win.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,998 ✭✭✭ kuang1


    The most likely route to a French win is an early try and successful use of their back row to run at small spaces, offload from the floor and basically catch Ireland napping.

    Yes but I think we've evolved beyond a point at which we could be "caught napping". For one score sure possibly.
    But for the duration of a whole game, for the forwards to fail to slow down french ball sufficiently...I just can't see it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,046 ✭✭✭ arsebiscuits1


    Most lineout problems would be rectified by lifting POM at the front


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,582 ✭✭✭✭ stephen_n


    kuang1 wrote: »
    Indeed.
    Someone had said (could have been you ibf but not sure) that there'll be a lot of weight on Best's shoulders to get the lineouts bang on. Which is v true.
    That was probably the main contributing reason to the debacle in Murrayfield last year.

    Going by the stats, our inability to defend line outs may be more of an issue, than Bests throwing into them. If the French can manage territory through Jalibert, then they might be able to force penalties inside our half and kick for the corners. That being said, we don’t concede a lot of penalties, so hopefully that won’t be an issue. As long as our scrum stays solid, we should be good.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,754 ✭✭✭✭ emmet02


    Most lineout problems would be rectified by lifting POM at the front
    Don't even need to lift him, he's that good at the front.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,385 ✭✭✭✭ Trojan


    France in RWC 2011.

    That is all.


This discussion has been closed.
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