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Kiss confident Ireland have ability to do some 'damage' on French soil

Assistant coach Les Kiss believes Ireland have the firepower to end their dismal run in France.

Before departing for Paris yesterday, Kiss pointed to previous performances against the French and insisted Ireland can "hurt" Les Bleus this weekend.

"We've beaten them once (in Croke Park in 2009) and we've outscored them in terms of tries at the Aviva (three to one in the World Cup warm-up last August). We know we have something that can hurt their style of play, and hopefully we can bring that to the fore this weekend," he said.

"If you look at France since 2009, I don't think any of the Six Nations teams have beaten them in France.

"They have got to lose there at some stage. You have to frame it so that you don't make them unbeatable, but you have also got to frame it that you have to put on a performance there to mess up their flow.

"If we can do that then hopefully we can do damage and I'd back our guys any day. You saw last week, once they got ball in the right areas... the tries they scored and the flow they had going -- there is some nice stuff there."


The Australian also revealed that after Scotland's gutsy display against France, Ireland's game plan has been tweaked since the last-minute postponement on February 11.

"There were some subtle shifts definitely. The way Scotland went about their business certainly showed up some other aspects of their game, in defence and attack," he said.

"Scotland went at them and put the heat on them and were good at the breakdown and spread the ball wide. France were a different beast second half and improved as they went on, but we expect both teams to improve from last time.

"The scrum got them out of a bit of trouble. They'll probably lean heavily on their set-piece at home, as they always do, and it's always a good platform for them to work off. There's no doubt they'd have looked at our game against Italy and got a little bit more out of it."

Kiss hinted that Ireland may have to weather a storm to record a first win in the Stade de France since 2000.

"France are just this team that can do anything from anywhere. They are a great team to watch and a terrible team to play against because they are so dangerous. If something happens early we don't have to hang our heads," he said.

"All you have to do is fight hard and stay in the game, keep biting on their heels and anything is possible.

"So I wouldn't be hanging my head if they score early, but it's certainly not in the plan."

Irish Independent