Sunday 11 December 2016

France badly need convincing display to quieten their critics

Published 17/09/2011 | 05:00

France need a commanding performance against Canada to stop any doubt setting in after their sloppy opening win over Japan roused the ire of the critics at home and abroad.

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But the challenge posed by a physical and powerful Canada team is likely to be just as difficult as it was against fleet-footed Japan.

"They know how to play, they're not just content with defending," said back-row Imanol Harinordoquy. "As soon as there's a loose ball they like to counter-attack."

France have easily won their previous three Tests against Canada -- 50-6 in 2005, 47-13 in '04 and 35-3 in '02.

But the World Cup seems to inspire the Canadians, and France won their two contests at this tournament by far tighter margins -- 19-13 in 1991 and 33-20 in '99.

Many of the French players can't wait to be reacquainted with Jamie Cudmore, who plays for Clermont Auvergne.

In January, Cudmore was given a 40-day ban for punching Perpignan's Gregory Le Corvec.

A year earlier, he was banned for 10 weeks for stamping on Saracens flanker Jacques Burger in a Heineken Cup match, and in 2008 he was banned for five weeks for punching Munster's Paul O'Connell.

Canada v France, Live, Tomorrow, Setanta Ir & ITV, 9.30

Irish Independent

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