Breakdown key to beating Scots - Parra
February 26, 2012
Morgan Parra will be wary of Scotland at the breakdown © Getty Images
France scrum-half Morgan Parra has targeted the breakdown area as the key to victory in Sunday's Six Nations clash with Scotland.
Les Bleus are looking to get their title tilt back on track after the postponement of their home fixture with Ireland two weeks' ago. Clermont No. 9 Parra, restored to his favoured position after being used as a fly-half at the World Cup, says France must react sharply when Scotland attempt to disrupt quick ruck ball.
"I saw how they managed to disrupt the number nine against Wales and I expect a difficult match," Parra told L'Equipe. "We all know that this will not be an easy game.
"We have to make the effort to ensure that we get quick ball to give the three-quarters the best conditions to work in. We will be better than we were against Italy in our clearances at rucks. We have many quality backs, and it will make it a good game for us if we are able to use them properly."
While France can boast an exciting backline containing the likes of Vincent Clerc, Aurelien Rougerie and Julien Malzieu, Scotland have been criticised for their perceived lack of attacking talent. Greig Laidlaw's try in the 27-13 defeat in Cardiff was Scotland's first in five natches, but Parra says there is no way France will under-estimate the Scots threat with ball in hand.
"We saw against England what they can do and it was a game they could have won," he said.
"They also posed many problems to the Welsh. Scotland play well when holding on to the ball and they have impressed when keeping the ball through phases without making mistakes, and they force mistakes from you. We must get hold of the ball and not give them ammunition."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"If there was a cross breed of canine called an Underdogdoodle it would win best in show at Crufts." Mark Durden-Smith looks at the Aviva Premiership Final
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel
"We were only five metres away in the last Test of getting that try and with Jonny's inevitable conversion, we'd have won it." Tom Hamilton talks to Lions fullback Matt Perry