Poitrenaud preaches caution
February 11, 2011
Clement Poitrenaud impressed after coming off the bench in last weekend's win over Scotland © Getty Images
Clement Poitrenaud insists that France will not adopt a devil-may-care approach in Sunday's eagerly-awaited Six Nations showdown with Ireland in Dublin.
In last weekend's 34-21 victory over Scotland the reigning Grand Slam champions thrilled their public, and indeed neutrals all over the world, with a return to the flamboyant rugby with which Les Bleus have long been synonymous.
The hope now is that they will play with a similar freedom against the Irish at the Aviva Stadium. However, Poitrenaud, who has been recalled to the side because of the injury-enforced withdrawal of Maxime Mermoz, insists that he and his colleagues will be more cautious this weekend.
"People should not count on me to run every ball that comes to me," the Toulouse fullback said. "I have developed other facets to returning the ball other than running with it, which was perhaps my one quality when I began rugby. If I need to use my kicking game, I will employ it.
"The Irish know us, as they play against us regularly in the Heineken Cup. They know very well that we are above all fond of running the ball out of defence and they will be on their guard.
"It is imperative that we don't focus solely on running it and to realise that we will have to kick the ball as well."
Although the Irish are at home, the fortuitous nature of their 13-11 victory over Italy last weekend means that few are tipping Declan Kidney's men to prevail on Sunday. However, Poitrenaud believes Ireland will be far more cohesive than they were in Rome.
"I don't think we should pay too much attention to that match," he said. "They really didn't play at their usual level, and they were missing several key players. We cannot fall into the trap of thinking that they are weaker, out of form or disorganised because we will face another Irish side on Sunday.
"We should pay more attention to their performances back in November, notably against the All Blacks where even if they did lose, they put up a good show."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Women's World Cup, the opening round of the Top 14 and the Rugby Championship