Irish “patients” play a crucial role in facing France


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There was no hint of mind games when head coach Adam Griggs suggested France will pose a different test in Wales when Ireland host Les Bleus at Energia Park this weekend (live on RTÉ 2, kick off at 2:15 p.m.).

A 45-0 demolition job in Cardiff gives the side confidence ahead of Saturday’s game, but a victory over a side which put 53 points over the hapless Welshman the week before will indeed be a tall order.

Ranked fourth in the world and England’s main rivals at the Six Nations, they have finished outside the top two in the competition just twice since 2010, with three titles in that span.

Add a third place finish in the last two World Cups, a 30-point margin in their last game against the women in green, plus resources to eclipse those Ireland have, then there’s no fear. complacency despite the victory that lifts morale. Last weekend.

“They have threats all over the park,” Griggs told RTÉ Sport. ” You watch [Pauline] Bumblebee at nine and [Caroline] Boujard on the wing, two players that I think we need to make sure we keep a cover on from the start.

Pauline Bourdon is a key figure for France

“We have to aim to slow their ball down. If they get a ball early they’re really dangerous on offense. “

“For us in attack, it’s about being patient and winning the right to play.

We are really excited to see where we are on our journey

“I think we overplayed a few times last week, and maybe that’s how the game opened, but I know this week will be a different test, so we have to be patient before we look to them. expose widely, if we can.

“We’ve talked about testing ourselves against world-class opposition and we’re really excited to see where we are on our journey and see how we come together. “

A 31-point lead in the interval is unlikely to be repeated this weekend, although Griggs is not unduly worried about the second-half drop to Wales given how rusty the players are.

“I think it’s natural, we haven’t played for a long time,” but he said the 10 minutes on either side of the break was crucial in managing their game.

Unsurprisingly, Griggs has chosen to keep the faith with the squad that have performed so well at Cardiff and believe what the coaches are trying to push through in training is starting to pay off.

A lack of playing time during the pandemic has been deeply felt at times, but it has allowed Griggs to put more of an imprint on players, with around 20 camps since the Covid breakthrough.

In the restructured Six Nations format, the winner of the Donnybrook fixture will lead Pool B after defeating Wales with the England holder finishing atop a Pool A that contained Italy and Scotland.

The winners of each pool will compete for the title on a final day on April 24. On the same day, the second plays second and the third plays the third.

Parsons and his full-backs may have fewer opportunities to go out on Saturday, but the coaching staff are not concerned that the new team may somehow be overwhelmed by the challenge.

When it comes to Griggs, the onus is on him and his backroom team to focus on the job at hand.

“We certainly tried to keep our feet on the ground [after Wales victory] and there was a lot going on when we reviewed the footage from the weekend where we can be better. It’s about getting those messages out to the players.

“If we can focus on the parts of the game that we want to improve, I have no reason [to believe] we will not be competitive and will put France under the pump.

“That’s the message around the small parts of the game where we can be better. We focus on ourselves. “

Follow Ireland-France (2:15 p.m., Saturday) via our live blog on and the RTÉ News app or watch live on RTÉ2 or RTÉ Player, listen live on RTÉ Radio 1 on Saturday Sport.

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