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LAPORTE 5/6 v O’Sullivan 0

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    LAPORTE 5/6 v O’Sullivan 0

    5 today, 6 after the RWC....

    A bit of honesty here please. All opinions are welcome but no
    propoganda, pre set ideas etc please. Wales, Scotland, Italy &
    England (since the RWC) have been very average in the last few years.
    We've beaten them regularly & we've even managed a fes SH scalps in
    the 'Autumn intls'. But this is without doubt the most talented bunch
    of players ever to represent Ireland. Why cant we beat France at home?
    We have the players. Munster have never lost at home to a french side
    in the HEC/ They've played Biarritz, Stade Francais, Perpignan &
    have won convincinly & have beaten french sides away as well.
    leinster since they bottled it at home to USAP have been close to
    invincible versus french sides home & away. Ulster lost to BOPB
    last season but trashed Toulouse & have a good record at home to
    french sides. Ditto Connaucht.

    Why does Eddie & his team have such a bad record versus France? It deserves a thread of its own. Why????

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again (like picking Gordon D'Arcy) and expecting different results.
    Albert Einstein

    people forget that the Irish 22 as currently set up is picked from two clubs witha third filling gaps (harsh but true for the todgers). The French have a much wider base, which levels the playing field at club.
    \"Our Association cannot be expected to accept a vista where the competing sporting organisations have no capital investment commitments, can exploit the value of their existing infrastructure and use our facilities as a cash cow, while investing their returns in games development\" - Liam Mulvihill.



      Ireland: Dempsey; Murphy, D'Arcy, Horgan, Hickie;
      O'Gara, Boss; Horan, R Best, Hayes, O'Callaghan, O'Connell, S Easterby,
      D Wallace, Leamy.


      Total clubs : 5


      France: Poitrenaud (Toulouse)

      Clerc (Toulouse)

      Marty (USAP)

      Jauzion (Toulouse)

      </font>@@@@SPAN id="intelliTXT">Christophe Dominici (Stade Français),

      @@@@/SPAN>Dominici Skrela (Stade Francais)

      Mignoni (Clermont)

      Marconnet (Stade Francais)

      Ibanez (Wasps),

      de Villiers, (Stade Francais)

      Nallet (Castres)

      Papé (Castres)

      Betsen </font>@@@@SPAN id="intelliTXT">(Biarritz),

      Harinordoquy (Biarritz),

      Sébastien Chabal (Sale Sharks)

      Total clubs : 7


      @@@@SPAN id="intelliTXT">Sorry CCHA doesn't wash. Doesn't explain EOS's record.


      Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again (like picking Gordon D'Arcy) and expecting different results.
      Albert Einstein


        I'll also add that EOS has unlimited access to his players &amp; can
        control their diet, fitness regime, training &amp; how many matches
        they play. Laporte can only dream (and does regularly) of that sort of
        system with his players. EOS has effed away these advantages with his
        conservativ, fear ridden tactics. read Ackfords column in todays
        telegraph for explanation.


        last, a game to justify the hype. For all the superlatives (quite
        rightly) that accompanied Jonny's heroics against Scotland, and all the
        plaudits (quite wrongly) directed at Sunday's match between Wales and
        Ireland (loads of energy from the Welsh but very little purpose), there
        is a sense that only the encounter this afternoon between Ireland and
        France really matters. The skirmishing of the first week is over:
        Scotland, Wales and Italy brought firmly down to earth. Today is when
        the big beasts begin to prowl, the moment when this season's

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        Six Nations starts to get serious. Lovely.

        on the evidence of last week's joustings, France have to start as
        slight favourites. French coach Bernard Laporte did what no one
        believed he could do against Italy, namely, produce a half-back
        partnership of Pierre Mignoni and David Skrela that was authoritative
        and dangerous and ensure that the beast they call Sebastien Chabal was
        as influential for France as he is for his club Sale.

        strategic and tactical machinations are crucial because his tinkerings
        will dictate whether France get anywhere near their true potential.
        France have always had the talent. That's a given. Their recent
        struggle has involved expressing that flair in the context of
        international rugby which increasingly rewards order and structure and

        That dynamic will be evident again
        against Ireland and will be centred mainly on the half-backs and
        Yannick Jauzion in the centre. The reason why Jauzion is celebrated
        around the rugby world is that he rarely makes mistakes yet still has
        the capacity to work outside the box. Jauzion off-loads cleverly before
        or in contact, his defence is good, his hands and understanding are
        first rate but the gift for the unorthodox is always present. It makes
        him the perfect candidate for modern Test rugby.

        needs plenty of that if France are to subdue Ireland and, bizarrely, he
        may well be helped by the continued absence of his captain Fabien
        Pelous, who may miss the entire Six Nations with an ankle injury. It is
        strange how often the loss of an icon shifts responsibility onto other
        players who prosper as a result. There were signs of that happening
        against Italy.

        So, if France seem to be building a
        head of steam what about Ireland? By far the most disturbing aspect of
        their match in Cardiff was coach Eddie O'Sullivan's conservative
        caution before it. This was Grand Slam Ireland we were talking about, a
        side that every reputable pundit had tipped to win the championship.
        Yet O'Sullivan fashioned a fifteen to counter what he considered his
        own team's inherent weakness, the inability to generate first-phase

        Ireland started like a side who had
        already discovered that the weight of favouritism was u
        Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again (like picking Gordon D'Arcy) and expecting different results.
        Albert Einstein