Six Nations: Paris in the Spring – A day for heroes…or a cold night in hell?

Well, late winter really but that ain’t quite got it..from the Irish Times – it’s minus nine degrees:

At least les bleus won’t be playing with the sun on their backs in springtime.
Otherwise, this one doesn’t look too promising. Not only do France have a hex on Ireland like no one else, nowhere does this apply more than the French capital. Ireland have won just once in their last 20 visits, and les bleus have also won 11 of the last 12 meetings.
Furthermore, France are coming off an opening home win under a new coaching regime and are seeking a 10th successive win here, whereas Ireland have a day’s less respite from a defeat which stymied much of the Heineken Cup momentum. They are now staring at opening back-to-back defeats for the first time since 1998, the last of the wooden spoon years.

The Belfast Telegraph is a strange mix of hope and gloom..:

Watershed down
It is less than three years since Ireland won the Grand Slam and, though there have been some heady days since then, tomorrow represents a watershed occasion for a team that needs to deliver a discernible sense of direction in World Cup rankings year.
It may not have garnered much attention, or been swamped by the feel-good factor of Ireland’s Heineken Cup achievements, but the statistics since that 2009 Grand Slam make for grim reading.
Ireland have played 31 matches since Ronan O’Gara’s drop-goal glory in Cardiff, winning 16, losing 14 and drawing one. That is a win ratio of just over 50pc (53.22) and when you take away the victories over Canada, the USA (twice), Fiji, Samoa and Russia that leaves only 10 wins over what would be considered major rugby nations.
No better time for a turnaround.

Le Monde adds to the pain:

Crucifiés par la botte d’Halfpenny et plus encore par une longue relance initiée à la tombée d’un long renvoi d’O’Gara, les Verts viendront chercher leur rachat. Avec quelles armes?

Trans: You and whose army??
Good luck!…..Italy don’t need luck    and we have poor Scotland at home..Culloden was a walk in the park compared to tomorrow… (both from the Indie):

“We expect a challenge of desperation,” said Gatland, plainly baffled how they (Scotland) lost to England. “I think it’ll be a lot tighter than people think it might be.

Yeah right…

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  • lover not a fighter

    I think age has finally caught up with many of this Irish team and the loss of O’Driscoll (even at his age) was evident against Wales..

    Its going to be a backs to the wall affair in Paris. Perhaps some sort of Last Hurrah in Paris for the old stagers may summon a heroic performance.

    Alas I fear this team will not have too many more heroic days.

  • Mark

    Damage limitation seems to be the order of the day . If we miss a similar amount of tackles as we did last week , it could be a long afternoon . Only our chance imo is a flawless kicking display from our no.10 that keeps us in with a shout in the last ten minutes or so and then anything can happen .

  • Dewi
  • john

    The rugby crowd are really giving the footballing jesters at FIFA a run for their money. They wait for the stadium to completely fill with spectators to then announce the match is off. Could they not have made that decisions a couple of hours earlier to save all that bother. Glad I didnt travel over would have been gutted. Out of interest anyone know the last time a game in the 6 nations was cancelled because of the weather!

  • john

    Forgot to add did dithering Dave Pearson have the final say on the pitch. If it was then Im not suprised that he waited to the last minute – he has had quite a few weeks what with this, Davies last week and his abysmal performance at the Ulster clermont match.

  • Dewi

    John – you have anger issues, I can help. Support Wales.

  • john

    If I have anger issues then supporting Wales will be a nightmare. All the years Ive been following Rugby Ireland have been consistent from the mid 80’s for 15 years we were awfull and then since around 2000 we have been good (but not as good as we should have been). Either way I have had years to get used to the team. Wales would drive me insane a new false dawn followed by another one. Win a grandslam one year and then the next year be very mediocre. Wales are looking good this year but I still see them losing to England or France with the championship going to the wire between Wales and whoever beats them. There will be no grandslam from anyone this year

  • john

    3-3 HT. Scottish defense is immense. Scottish attack has been its usual ie panic when they are on the verge of scoring a try. Laidlaw isnt great and commited the cardinal sin of missing touch with a penalty, bring back Parks lol. Wales were good at the start but its all gone a bit wrong. North taken out by Davies – shame to go out like that. Ref needs to watch the welsh rush defense as its offside loads. Cheeky penalty won by Phillips. Bring on the 2nd half.

  • john

    Well thats the end of that Scotland implode ref having a good game and giving yellow cards when needed pay attention Barnes and Pearson!!

  • john

    As soon as I praise the ref he then goes and makes a howler why not go to the video?????? – It really is unbelievable. Wales continue to ride their luck will it last for the remainder of the championship?

  • Dewi

    This year is the one we hammer England.

  • lover not a fighter

    Cockiness does’nt suit the Welsh (actually who does it suit.)

    You may end up with egg on your face.
    The English may get some decent sized centres to combat your Giants.

    Will George North be fit. And what have you been feeding those wingers and centres. There may be a cause for some sort of an inquiry to be instigated.

  • Dewi

    Whisper it quietly at the bottom of a deep well…but this Welsh team is the best I have ever seen.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    Wales are a cracking side alright. Strong front 5, dynamic backrow, powerful at 9, kicking options at 10, beasts at 12 and 14, and a powerful and quick back 3. Super side playing with confidence. I really hope they win the slam but away to england (even a crap england) is a tough enough game. Haven’t seen enough of France to make a verdict but I’d imagine home advantage would see Wales through.

    Personally, I love sides that play with aggression and enterprise so have no issue with support the welshies. Also why I support the ABs. Cracking entertainment.

  • Mark

    This is a great Welsh team ….as good as the JPR , Bennett / Edwards team ? Maybe …