Ireland vs France
Competition: Six Nations
Date: 25 February 2017
Kick-off: 17:50 CET
The Irish are coming off a very good win against the other continental side in the Six Nations, but the French are a different prospect, especially in this year’s edition as they have shown they can thrash it out with the likes of England and Scotland.
For the French, they have long been seen as a side that has no direction or focus, but that seems to have changes under their coach Guy Noves. A big, meaty pack, and a lot of skillful back, have seen the French balance their side well, and their overall focus is clear to see. There is also a good balance between youth and experience and that kind of pattern will help the French in a competition that looks to be tightening up behind England already. When they face Ireland they will know it will be a challenge, especially for their defence as Ireland have already clocked up 85 points in just two games.
It was a great showing by Ireland when they met Italy in their last game, but it was a performance that was to be expected. Ireland looked poor in their first game against the Scots, a game that they lost, but at least they showed some heart to come back and just lose it at the depth. Their response against Italy was immense though as two players, including flank CJ Stander, scored hat-tricks in an 11-try rout. IT was of course always expected for Ireland to do well against Italy, but when they face France the same expectation will not be there as France will be a real test, rather than a rout like their continental compatriots.
Ireland vs France: Head-to-Head Stats
France can claim the advantage overall in this encounter which spans a massive 95 games, going back to 1909. In those games, there have been 56 wins for the French while the Irish have managed to get 32 wins, as well as a rather large amount of seven draws. The last encounter was a win for France 10-9, but three games before that belonged to Ireland.
Ireland vs France: Prediction
France, in their domestic set up, hate to travel, it may well take an effect in this match as the French travel to Ireland. However, the French side have also shown that nothing really perturbs them. France are coming off a hard fought win against Scotland which would have been perfect preparation for another tough game against Ireland whereas the Irish are in cruise mode after the smashing of Italy, so perhaps they will be undercooked.
Ireland vs France: Tips
CJ Stander is one of the hardest workers in the game, so bet on him to add to his massive try tally.