Ireland entertain France to steal a chance of the Six Nations title

Six Nations: Improving France a Test for Ireland

Ireland vs France

When the France rugby team comes to town, you know you’re in for a bruising battle; and this weekend Ireland will need to be ready.

Third plays fourth at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday and the Six Nations, Ireland vs France clash is an intriguing one. The Irish still hold out a hope of winning the tournament and the French do like to spoil a party. As Grand Slam title holders the Ireland vs France betting odds point to a win for the home side and a passionate , Dublin crowd will do its very best to roar the Greens to victory.

But while Les Bleus don’t tend to travel well and are inconsistent to say the least, they do seem to be improving with in impressive win over Scotland last time out.

The Stadium will be bouncing, that’s for sure, and the pitch will be no place for the feint hearted.

Talking Points

Ireland’s confidence still a little shaky

With high hopes of repeating last year’s outstanding success Joe Schmidt’s team suffered a crushing blow right at the start of this campaign, with a 20-32 loss to Eddie Jones’ England. They recovered to beat a weak Scotland side by 22-13, but in Round Three Ireland was losing at half time against Italy at the Stadio Olimpico before eventually dragging themselves up to win 26-16.

Schmidt said that his side made hard work of the task in Italy and still looked a bit broken, after they had been destroyed by England on the opening day. The coach needs confidence on the pitch has rung the changes, seven in total, including leaving out flanker Sean O’Brien and hooker Sean Cronin. Robbie Henshaw is still out injured and he’s always a big miss, so Schmidt will look to Johnny Sexton and CJ Stander to lift his side, while Ulster’s Rob Herring has been drafted in to replace Cronin.

Sexton is the top point scorer between Ireland and France and he’ll have a key role to play if he has his kicking boots on.

Johnny Sexton expected to put pressure on France in this year's Six Nations clash

Ireland’s Johnny Sexton during the match

Has France turned a corner?

France showed patchy form in the run up to the Six Nations, beating Argentina and losing narrowly to South Africa and Fiji in November, while Ireland also beat Argentina, as well as New Zealand and USA.

Back to back losses followed at the start of the Six Nations, but they were against in-form Wales and England teams, and Jacques Brunel’s side showed something like the form we expect from Les Bleus with a dominant display against Scotland, running in four tries in a 27-10 victory.

They looked much better balanced at the back with Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamak linking up well. Ntamack was one of the scorers alongside Yoann Huget and Gregory Alldritt, who grabbed a brace. So Brunel has taken the unusual step (in France) of naming an unchanged squad. Dupont and Ntamak’s continued form could be pivotal if the visitors are to spring a surprise on the men in green.

Les Bleus have a chance to lift the spirits of a nation still reeling after its best football team, PSG, somehow crashed out of the Champions League to Manchester United this week. Beating Ireland wouldn’t be as big a shock as the one the Red Devils pulled off in Paris!

History

In the long history between these two great rugby nations, the French have had the better of the head-to-head Ireland vs France results over the years, winning 56 to Ireland’s 24 victories and there have been seven draws.

But Ireland has won five in the least six, and last year they won a pulsating match at the Stade de France 15-13, as a long range drop goal from Johnny Sexton in the 83rd minute gave Schmidt’s side a dramatic late win. I think we could be in for another thriller at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

Betting Tip

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Ireland vs FranceFrance +13.50 @ 2.00
March 09, 23:00(GMT+8)

The latest SBOBET odds offer Ireland at a price of 1.88 with that handicap of 13.50 points, but they have not been entirely convincing during the opening three rounds of the 2019 Six Nations. They still have to face the unbeaten Wales away and so can’t afford any slip ups against les Bleus.

But these games are invariably tight affairs, and with plenty of strength in both sides, and an unusually settled atmosphere in the French camp, I think this will be another well fought battle.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident)?? = €10 (CONFIDENT)?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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