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O'Sullivan Cautious France's Patchy Italy Performance Could Be Bad News For Ireland

O'Sullivan Cautious France's Patchy Italy Performance Could Be Bad News For Ireland
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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After the first weekend of the 2022 Six Nations, things are largely shaping up as expected. Ireland and France secured bonus point victories over Wales and Italy respectively, while not many were shocked to see Scotland turn over England at Murrayfield.

It sets up the remainder of the tournament brilliantly, with Ireland visit to Paris next week looking like a mouth watering contest.

It is a bit difficult to know where both teams stand going into that game.  Andy Farrell's side performed well against Wales, but they really should have run up a larger score than they did.

As for France, it was expected that they would put in a far more dominant performance against Italy at home. They scored a couple of wonderful tries, but their play also looked disjointed at times.



While this may offer some encouragement to the Irish ahead of next week, Eddie O'Sullivan is wary that it could have the opposite effect.

Speaking on RTÉ after the game, the 63-year old said there was a possibility that France's sloppy play against the Italians could actually be a bad thing for Ireland.

I think psychologically, if France had just racked up a score today they would be a little vulnerable and take things for granted and it would have suited Ireland.

France will go away and know that they didn't really tick all the boxes. That will keep them focused because they know Ireland can beat them, they won't take anything for granted against Ireland.

That sort of patchy performance today will keep them in the zone I think. That will actually make it a bit harder for Ireland.

In some ways, this performance will keep France focused rather than getting carried away with themselves...

The problem for them is that when things start to go wrong for them, they're not able to keep it together...

I think they are vulnerable. The key for Ireland is to try and keep them out of their game, keep them out of their stride. Italy did that today really well.

The conditions today were a factor, they were a factor yesterday but even more so today, we saw the rain coming down in sheets in the first half. For that reason France went into themselves and said 'we're not going to throw the ball around'. The first 20minutes was very laborious with a lot of kicking, mauling, and one-off runners.

I think in their heads they decided to be more risk averse, whereas if the weather was better today France would have played a lot more expansively a lot earlier. You have to put that into the mix as well.

I still think that France will be worried that Ireland can come and beat them. That's probably a good thing in some ways, but not a good thing in other ways.

It will certainly be interesting to see how this plays out, with this game likely to have a huge say on the destination of this year's championship.


Andy Farrell will be focused on what Ireland can do to hurt France, although he will have to be wary of the threat that they can pose as well.

SEE ALSO: Gareth Thomas Suggests Ireland Are The Best Team In The World After Wales Mauling

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