SIx Nations – Let’s try this again…

A miracle or a massacre? – From the Irish Independent:

Le massacre du printemps, incidentally, was a headline from L’Equipe on the morning of the 1992 fixture in the old Parc des Princes, where Ireland managed never to win — against France or Argentina. Philippe Saint-Andre was on the wing that day when the home team romped home 44-12.
For optimum effect we fiddle around with the stats from Ireland’s record in Paris, but the one that best illustrates the theme is that we have won two of our last 31 games there. You could argue that Scotland’s return of 2/33 in Twickenham is worse, but at least that run includes four draws. We never got that comfort. And our 13-game stretch from 1974 to ’98 is a standalone for the worst championship run of anyone in one city.
Jonny Sexton was 14 for the second of those Ireland victories, in 2000. Coincidentally, his father Jerry, who would play scrumhalf on the first Irish schools team, was the same age for the first, in 1972. Perhaps we should be less hung up on whether the fixture is in winter or spring and be more concerned with the awfulness of the sequence itself.

I think France are a good team but Ireland are better – but you must score many points to beat France away. Again from the Irish Indie Neil Francis does some detail on what needs to change in Ireland’s approach. It’s very good stuff till the last paragraph….

….Ireland have to gamble and if they do, they can upset the French who don’t like it when you do unexpected things and their energies and concentration to the task can be stretched.
If we force them to channel their energies differently, this will flummox and frustrate them.
What would you expect from a nation who exercised more of its national will fighting Disney and the Big Mac than they did the Nazis? If Ireland express themselves and take a chance they have a chance

Le Monde’s take is here. And here’s the Google translate. Ireland are finally on the menu for France.

Very best of luck.

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  • Greenflag

    We can hope but with France vieing for the Championship with Wales les Bleus will be up for massacre . Lets hope we can at least give them a fright and lets not forget that the defeat by Wales was a close run thing in the end .

    France 17 -Ireland 21

  • Freaked-out-Unionist

    France 21 – Ireland 22

  • Mick Fealty

    Thing I hate about the Stade is the bloody temptation to sing along with the French support…

  • Dewi

    Come on Ireland!

  • Dewi

    Tommy Bowe!

  • Mick Fealty

    Try!! That’s good start in trying to get into the heads of the French backs…

  • Mick Fealty

    7-0

  • Pete Baker

    3-7

  • Mick Fealty

    Agree with Jonathan Davies on the overlap… we missed a great move on the edge, and the French penalty was a result of the French doing to us what we should have done to them…

    10-3

  • Freaked-out-Unionist

    Let me have men about me that are fat,
    Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights.
    Yond Bowe has a lean and hungry look,
    He thinks too much; such men are dangerous.

  • Mick Fealty

    10-6..

  • Mick Fealty

    Brilliant touch kick..

  • Freaked-out-Unionist

    Mick,
    peteb is correct its 6-10
    its in the rules 😉

  • Mick Fealty

    Get the fecking ball!

  • Mick Fealty

    And keep it would be good!

  • Pete Baker

    6-15

    Great try!

  • Mick Fealty

    Ah feck, what do I know! Pete,nthe score?

  • Dewi

    Good stuff – Irish backs really good at smashing French attacks.

  • Freaked-out-Unionist

    6-17
    Now can we control the game, that’s the thing

  • Pete Baker

    6-17 at half time.

    Whodathoughtit? Keeping the crowd out of the game in Paris is a good move. They can turn on Les Bleus.

    But where was this Irish team in the earlier games?

  • Mick Fealty

    Savouring a grand slam Dewi?

  • Freaked-out-Unionist

    we’ve had our bit of “irish luck”, which wasn’t there against Wales,
    who have sneaked us twice now in 6 nations.
    we play like champs/winners in 2nd half, then its in the bag

  • Dewi

    Sexton super in defence.

  • Mick Fealty

    Love that camera work on the penalties…

  • Pete Baker

    9-17

    Too. Many. Penalties.

  • Mick Fealty

    Oh, this is turning into the bad comedy try game.

  • Freaked-out-Unionist

    aye France have had a great 10 mins
    carving into us like a tin-opener
    Discipline guys, hold the line !

  • Mick Fealty

    Hold the ball would do!

  • Mick Fealty

    Oh, 14-17

  • Pete Baker

    Ireland getting sloppy. French forwards smartening up their play.

  • Mick Fealty

    French line outs particularly solid…

  • Mick Fealty

    The first half now officially counts for nothing… 17-17

  • Freaked-out-Unionist

    quite so Mick
    The French are playing like animals,
    no disrespect , its pure aggression & will
    I still think we can outsmart the beast 😉

  • Mick Fealty

    Well, that was the opposite of smart!

  • Freaked-out-Unionist

    ouch , I’m futuring .. points points pleeeese

  • Mick Fealty

    I’ve not seen that many unforced errors froman Irish team since the 60s… Fantastic defence… Lost ambition in the second half…

  • Freaked-out-Unionist

    you feel we had to score with either of those line-outs
    and we messed up, unforced errors, a great pity.

    glad we didn’t lose at the end though !
    small comfort

  • Jimmy Sands

    Disappointed that only one team was trying to win it at the end.

  • Dewi

    Like kissing your sister. Some super defensive stuff but lost line-outs – when did that start?

  • Greenflag

    Well we gave them a fright for the first 40 minutes 🙂 and in the end I thought deserved the draw .

    Note to team . Please don’t give away line outs in an attacking position and with minutes on the clock .

    A win could have been snatched at the death . O’Gara could have dropped a goal .

    Wonder what the French manager threatened their team with at half time ? Either the guillotine or the foreign legion? mes amis .;)

  • babarino

    D’arcy’s fumble was critical at a time we had them on the rack and looked set to sicken them with a late score. Attitude was very good today, with Kearney and Sexton playing brilliantly. Augurs well for the future and we should register victories there in the near future.