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I agree with you that the French individually do respect Ireland, as players they have every reason to as they have been on the end of beatings by every Irish player on the pitch, but as a French team I wonder how they feel vis a vis Ireland as a team? Inconfident? Confident?
I totally agree with you about Ireland as a team, as do the majority of Irish fans, we generally are sort of "pipped" in too many games, especially against the French who we still haven't learnt how to play psychologically and who have prevented us from winning Grand Slams on this basis on three occasions of late. Nobody in Ireland understands why we can't transfer our Heineken cup attitude and form on to the International stage. Ireland have no problem scoring tries but against the French we just don't score tries in the first half against them. Also, I think James Downey should be on the bench for this game, even though I'm a Leinster supporter I feel Mc Fadden's nothing more than normal...By the way, I like Northampton as a team and they'd win a Heineken Cup if they got a world class 2nd row instead of Lawes who is over rated and got a decent out half, that's all that's missing in my humble opinion
Posted 12:26 03rd March 2012
Every game Ireland are the 'nearly there's' and we saw in 2009 that they have what it takes to Grandslam (albeit against an average France and England) but everytime it's Nearly or the aforementioned slip ups...you only have to look back to the Wales game where they could have (and should have) beaten Wales but didn't through a stupid mistake...their mistakes are nearly as deeply ingrained in the old heads in the squad as losing is to the Scottish...
Posted 19:55 02nd March 2012
I dont think France are talking Ireland up lol i feel they are giving them the respect they deserve .After all Ireland are a top team despite their recent run of results Any team would be very foolish to write them off as no hopers at any time. I also feel this cut out the errors record is broken every game now Ireland are saying if we cut out the errors. Just how many games do they need to solve doing the same errors every game??.If the players with all their experiance are still making the same errors .Then either you need new players or the coaching is wrong .Depends if the players are implementing the gameplan if any if not then new players if yes then new coach or differant coaching
Posted 15:50 02nd March 2012
On another note, notice how The French are being very careful and clever in talking Ireland up with praise and putting us into a comfort zone of sorts. They are no fools when they do this, as they saw what happened Australia in the WC when they showed openly that they didn't rate Ireland...The French are well aware that an Irish team that is written off or slagged off can be a dangerous animal
Posted 09:08 02nd March 2012
I get worried when I hear players saying "impose our game plan on the opposition"...Against the French in Paris "rigid" game plans should be bottom of the agenda in a way and it should be more about being totally prepared to "playing what's in front of you" because as everyone knows with the French they are not like England who are usually predictable (this is why Ireland can beat England regularly)...Already, I feel Ireland have handed the initiative to France as I cannot work out the crucial half back selection of Murray with Sexton vis a vis a game plan for this particular game (it was ok for the Welsh game to front up to Phillips)...is it a halfway house of containment and attack, because that's what it looks like, a mish mash of cautious endeavour, and if that is what it is we will pay the price!
Just reflect on why Tonga beat France in the World Cup, the reason was because they played what was in front of them (a world class French team who were complacent) with belief and abandon and to their known strengths...If Ireland only realised that for this game that even with all the "fulsome talk" from the French that they fear Ireland etc, that psychologically the French don't fear us at all and are actually complacent because of our record in Paris....If I was Declan Kidney I would have been playing the France V Tonga game to the Irish players all week, while goading (motivating) the team, that like the Tongan match, the French don't fear Ireland. There's no doubt these talanted Irish players would react and if they were asked to go out and just play to the best of their ability they could do a Tonga job in Paris...so Declan, swap Reddan for Murray, tear up the game plan, get out that video, because it's not England we're playing!!
Posted 08:56 02nd March 2012
I wish Ireland really would cut out the errors so this broken record will finally stop. Every year...........
Posted 13:36 01st March 2012