Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

Kidney under no illusions

Declan Kidney

Declan Kidney accepts Ireland must deliver a significant improvement against France if their Grand Slam defence is to remain intact.

The RBS 6 Nations champions opened the tournament with a 29-11 victory over Italy at Croke Park which deteriorated as a spectacle during a grim second half. Tries by Jamie Heaslip and Tomas O'Leary and 16 points from Ronan O'Gara ensured it was a comfortable but frustrating victory which blew away the cobwebs.

A far greater challenge looms next Saturday, however, when Ireland travel to Paris seeking only their third victory in the French capital since 1952. He said: "We'll need to do more in Paris but France should play a different game to Italy and will present their own challenges."

He added: "In every area we need to improve, I'm under no illusions about that. If we let the same happen against France, we won't win. But we can't go too far down that road as seven days is a quick turnaround.

"I'm disappointed we didn't score more tries against Italy. I was hoping we'd get an extra few.

"I wouldn't be delirious about the performance but I won't knock it either. We need to keep a balance on things."

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