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Servat is standout not just for France but in the Northern Hemisphere, trouble is he's not the future as next season he will be coaching Toulouse. The minute Servat came on against the Scots the French pack changed, they are tighter, drive better and he is a major contributor in the loose. Saint Andre is giving Szarzewski game time, but the guy is just not in the same league, in addition his throwing isn't as accurate and he's much more liable to make errors. Perhaps France have a weakness when he's on. Can't see any others, Picamoles gives them more go forward in the loose, but Bonnaire has other attributes so its swings and roundabouts. Poitrenaud has more flair than Medard, but not the same basic speed and has been known to go AWOL, but he is entertaining and adds an enourmous amount in attack. It won't be boring, but I feel Ireland like England may rue not having a true number seven, whilst effective their back row all play the same way. Weaknesses in their back line will prove costly if the cavalry don't arrive on time. home win methinks.
Posted 00:15 02nd March 2012
@melkdave. I agree re Servat. Unquestionably the better player. Just have to trust PSA has a plan, and that Fra don't cede the gain line too much early on, as you say....
If it's a one-score game with 15 mins to go (which is quite likely imo), the French will feel relieved to see Servat & co take the field. Beauxis to kick long. Scrum to finally impose itself. Pic to carry. Nallet to roll a maul or two with Debaty. Drop goal to win it. Fra won't be too fussed. So long as it's a W.....
For me, the selection smacks of respect for Ire, not of a coach who doesn't know his players. It also asks questions of Ire, invites them to come and play, takes some of that pressure off the French. It's a new Fra team. Easier for them to get set on "D", build confidence and rhythm etc, than to have a really effective plan of "A", from the first whistle.
If the Fra plan is so obvious, what do Ire do to counter it? Do they try to go big early on, use width, throw the 50/50 miss-pass, get the offloads going, turn down kicks at goal, etc etc? Or do they feel their way into the game, play territory, box kick, rumble a few mauls, hope for mistakes, kick their pens? Option 1 is high risk and plays into the French selection, where Fra can kill Ire on the counter if they get turnover ball. Option 2 is more to be expected from an away team, but leaves Ireland potentially not far enough ahead to withstand the expected French come back. Remember, Fra are unlikely to give 6-7 kickable pens away in the first hour, as they used to every game against Wilko and the English. Meanwhile, Fra territory and scrum dominance cld potentially eek out a few kickable pens in the last 10 mins...
How do Ireland play this one?
Posted 16:13 29th February 2012
Ah give it a rest D4tress. Noone likes gouging but they've served an appropriate ban and have moved on. I've been gouged, I didn't enjoy it one bit but I'd never think the player who had done it should get life bans
Posted 14:13 29th February 2012
Attoub was jailed for 12 years in the Peoples Republic of Dudley for taking off the Brummy accent whilst wearing odd socks. He only served 6 hours of his sentence due to good behaviour though.
Posted 13:55 29th February 2012
"I really wanted to retain this 10, 12, 13, they need the get a feel for each other"
Finally, some sense from a french coach! where was PSA when we needed him?
Posted 13:30 29th February 2012
W.Servat not starting ??i think thats a mistake as the irish pack will come out guns blazing and rampaging.Given its the only area where they have a chance of real go forward ball .You would think France would want to stop that asap by dominating the scrum and lineout .So understand Bonnaires inclusion and Servat is a better scruminger and lineout thrower than Szarewski imo .All in all though it is a very strong team but they will have to go up a couple of gears imo to win the match .If Ireland get ahead and their tails up all bets are off as they will fight tooth and claw to keep their championship alive
Posted 12:52 29th February 2012
Attoub is a scumbag and it'll be a sad day for Les Bleus when he gets back on the pitch.
Ditto Dupuy. They should both be on life-time bans.
Posted 12:05 29th February 2012
France will stuff us
Posted 11:55 29th February 2012
Hmmm. So Attoub is 23rd man once again. And Beauxis has to wait for his chance....
I guess PSA wants to run the ball early on, play tempo, not give away pens, not kick for touch, use the aerobic and technical qualities of the starting XV to the max. With Bonnaire and Hari, Fra have 4 jumpers to put in the air at lineout, restarts and kick reception. Then the bench comes on with 20 mins to go. Serious extra power (is there a better bench in the 6N?) + recognised kicker to close out the game.
I just hope Fra don't lack for go-forward without Picamoles? And Ire have a great maul-type suffocating defence. Just look at the video of their pool match vs Aus at RWC. Wonder what Ferris will think, not seeing Picamoles' name on teamsheet.....
Posted 10:01 29th February 2012