Eddie Jones will be licking his lips at ending France's Grand Slam hopes after spotting glaring weakness to exploit
By Rugby Onslaught

Eddie Jones will be licking his lips at ending France’s Grand Slam hopes after spotting glaring weakness to exploit

France and Ireland produced a match that lived up to all the hype today in the Six Nations, as the hosts won 30-24 in a hugely physical affair.

Les Bleus seemed to be in a commanding position at half time with 12 point lead, but a Josh van der Flier try from a driving maul and try from scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park a few minutes later meant the game was on again.

France now look in a strong position to pick up their first Grand Slam in over a decade now, but their upcoming opponents, Scotland, Wales and England, may have seen some chinks in their armour.

Though France have a huge pack that seems to bully all they come up against, it can also be their weakness at times, as shown in the Stade de France. Their pack were not mobile or quick enough around the breakdown, which opened up the gap for the scrum-half to break for his try. Players like Ben Youngs will love the prospect of coming up against a lumbering defence like that, as there was maybe even another chance for Gibson-Park to score in the passage of play before his try.

Shaun Edwards is maybe the best defence coach in the world, but there is a price you pay by picking such a massive pack, and their guard defence can be their Achilles heel. Lock Paul Willemse was the player who was caught out on this occasion, but it could be any other player. Take a look:


France team
15 Melvyn Jaminet
14 Damian Penaud
13 Gael Fickou
12 Yoram Moefana
11 Gabin Villiere
10 Romain Ntamack
9 Antoine Dupont (c)
8 Gregory Alldritt
7 Francois Cros
6 Anthony Jelonch
5 Paul Willemse
4 Cameron Woki
3 Uini Atonio
2 Julien Marchand
1 Cyril Baille

16 Peato Mauvaka
17 Jean-Baptiste Gros
18 Demba Bamba
19 Romain Taofifenua
20 Thibaud Flament
21 Dylan Cretin
22 Maxime Lucu
23 Thomas Ramos

Ireland team
15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 17 caps
14. Andrew Conway (Munster/Garryowen) 28 caps
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 38 caps
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 34 caps
11. Mack Hansen (Connacht) 1 cap
10. Joey Carbery (Munster/Clontarf) 28 caps
9. Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 13 caps
1. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 41 caps
2. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 17 caps
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 53 caps
4. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 26 caps
5. James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 41 caps CAPTAIN
6. Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 13 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 36 caps
8. Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 23 caps

16. Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 3 caps
17. Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 113 caps
18. Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 19 caps
19. Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 65 caps
20. Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 80 caps
21. Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 93 caps
22. Jack Carty (Buccaneers/Connacht) 10 caps
23. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 53 caps