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Tony Ward

Press me to identify Ireland's game-plan and I'm struggling... our slavish adherence to the bish-bash we deliver is depressing in the extreme

Tony Ward


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Kick it out: Ireland’s Jamison Gibson-Park kicks the ball under pressure from France’s Antoine Dupont yesterday

Kick it out: Ireland’s Jamison Gibson-Park kicks the ball under pressure from France’s Antoine Dupont yesterday

�INPHO/James Crombie

Ruddock

Ruddock

�INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Ronan Kelleher of Ireland goes past Bernard le Roux of France to score

Ronan Kelleher of Ireland goes past Bernard le Roux of France to score

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Kick it out: Ireland’s Jamison Gibson-Park kicks the ball under pressure from France’s Antoine Dupont yesterday

There was a time when Irish sides playing the French were almost content in post match analysis to be tagged plucky in defeat. I'd like to think I was never part of those teams but in the general acceptance that we gave it our best shot, despite losing, I may well have been.

Point is that professional rugby has moved the game so far on from that yet the feeling yesterday, when departing Lansdowne Road, was of an Irish performance in which we gave it a right good lash and, despite coming up just two points short, were in with a real shout right to the very end.

Irish rugby has to be more advanced and yesterday, despite all the huffing and puffing, it wasn't. The better team - at least the one attempting to put together the more constructively adventurous rugby - eventually came out on top and that is how it should be.


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