Ireland Must Do It The Munster Way
11th February 2006 By Munster Rugby
If Ireland are to do it again in Paris, then the Munster way must be the Irish way, says Tony Ward writing in today’s Independent
Harking back to that 27-25 victory six years ago, Irish Independent rugby writer, Tony Ward is of the opinioin that, “if Ireland are to do it again in Paris, then the Munster way must be the Irish way.”
Ward continues, “Not for one minute am I suggesting that Irish rugby and Ronan O’Gara should return to a slavish adherence to the Garryowen and to the ‘everything above the grass’ philosophy but the Munster model ’06, after the RDS watershed, is undoubtedly the way to go.”
This Irish side might also take encouragement from the peformance of the A side in Limoges last night. Superbly marshalled by Munster’s Mick O’Driscoll,Ireland fought back from being 10-0 then 17-6 in arrears to win the second hald 6-3 and had they enjoyed a little more luck in the closing quarter, might quite easily have snatched victory.
The French are an awesome sight to behold when they are on song. But if they don’t like the lullaby they have a tendency to hop the rattle off the wall. Last week in Murrayfield they looked an ordinary side because the Scots refused to buy into all the pre-match hype.
That result has left the French vulnerable, even more so because they are on home soil. Their supporters are not like the Munster – and more recently Leinster – supporters who get behind their side when things aren’t going well. The French supporter are more likely to turn on their own.
The return of Olivier Magne, the switch of Christophe Dominici to full-back and Fredericc Michalack at ten are all areas that the Irish can exploit. Dominici, probably more than anyone else, typies the French character. When he’s good he’s really good. But when he’s bad, he’s really not good.
Ireland took a lot of stick after their performance against Italy. This team will be smarting from that. By retaining the same 22, (Marcus Horan now excepted) Eddie O’Sullivan has given them the opportunity to put the record straight.
Final word to Tony Ward. “There is but one way – and it is unashamedly the Munster way – if the most potent backline to wear the green is to cut loose.”
Ireland: G Murphy; S Horgan, B O’Driscoll, capt, G D’Arcy, T Bowe; R O’Gara, P Stringer; R Corrigan, J Flannery, J Hayes, M O’Kelly, P O’Connell, G Easterby, D Wallace, D Leamy.Replacements: R Best, S Best, D O’Callaghan, J O’Connor, E Reddan, D Humphreys, A Trimble
France: C Dominici; A Rougerie, F Fritz, D Marty, C Heymans; F Michalak, JB Elissalde; O Milloud, R Ibanez, P de Villiers; F Pelous capt, J Thion; Y Nyanga, O Magne, J Bonnaire.Replacements: S Bruno, S Marconnet, L Nallet, R Martin, Y Nyanga, B Boyet, L Valbon.