Friday 24 January 2020

We must cut out the errors – Rory Best

Rory Best. Photo: Sportsfile
Rory Best. Photo: Sportsfile

Duncan Bech

ULSTER hooker Rory Best believes Ireland must impose their will on France if they are to have any chance of recording a rare successful visit to Paris.

Only victory in Sunday's rescheduled RBS 6 Nations clash at the Stade de France will be sufficient to keep Irish title hopes alive.

Counting against them is a dire record which has seen them prevail just once in the French capital since 1972.

"We'll have to cut out the mistakes if we are to beat France," Best said.

"Too many times in recent years the game has been over after 20 minutes, though we've always fought back well.

"We want to go there and impose our gameplan, avoid making any silly mistakes and take the chances we create.

"Leinster and Munster have been to France and won there. With Ulster we felt another couple of per cent would have been enough to get us the win at Clermont this season.

"We take confidence from the fact the provinces have done it in France."

France and Ireland collide on the Six Nations' second break weekend after the original fixture on February 11 was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

The disruption to their schedule could yet prove beneficial to the Irish as they now travel to Paris revitalised by their 42-10 rout of Italy rather than smarting at a demoralising defeat to Wales.

"The last time we went there we had the advantage of trying to settle a score after losing the Wales game the way we did. That was always a motivating factor," Best said.

"Now we're coming off the back of a good win and have scored five tries against Italy. You don't often see Italy concede 40 points these days.

"It's very encouraging to go to France with that in the bank. We've also had another few weeks together so we're ironing out the wrinkles.

"But any time you to go Paris is an exciting time. We want the win that has been so elusive for Irish rugby for so long.

"The French have this reputation of being all-action and maybe in the past we've tried to match that, while they've played smart rugby against us.

"Any time I've been there we've been uncharacteristically loose in the first 20 minutes and do things we wouldn't normally do. We've talked about that and want to rectify it."

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