/ Six Nations 2015

Les Kiss wary of apparent French 'chaos'

Updated: Tuesday, 11 Mar 2014 19:24 | Comments

Les Kiss (L) with world-record Test cap holder Brian O'Driscoll
Les Kiss (L) with world-record Test cap holder Brian O'Driscoll

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Ireland must disregard France's finely-rehearsed "dishevelled place of chaos" act to claim the RBS 6 Nations title in Paris on Saturday, according to assistant coach Les Kiss.

Kiss believes Philippe Saint-Andre's Les Bleus play on time-honoured perceptions of a talented, but disparate rabble.

Defence specialist Kiss has warned the method in France's madness could derail Ireland's bid for a first win in Paris since Brian O'Driscoll's 2000 hat-trick.

Ireland know that just a second victory in France in 43 years should hand them the Six Nations crown, the perfect send-off for 15-year veteran centre O'Driscoll in his 141st and final Test match.

Kiss said Ireland's meticulous back-room staff's "forensic" examination of the French approach reveals a game plan designed to look shambolic, but that actually offers plenty attacking avenues for their marauding finishers.

"There's a perception that they are dishevelled, that they are in a dishevelled place of chaos," said Kiss.

"But when you look at it as forensically as we have, you can see an order to that chaos, you can see what they're trying to achieve, you can see that they do allow their individuals to put themselves into the game in dangerous situations.

"So as much as they might look disorganised, there's a certain way they play that you have to be aware of; they are a very dangerous team across the park.

"And when you've got a back-three of Brice Dulin, Yoann Huget and Maxime Medard, with Hugo Bonneval coming off the bench, it's a dangerous mix and we have to be aware of that.

"They keep threats across the field. They move their forwards around and they have a group of four to five players who are very dangerous, the back-three, the two halves, and then [Mathieu] Bastareaud as the odd guy so they can shift the point of attack at any given time.

"It's based around this axis they build into their game.

"It may look a bit left-of-centre, but there is a path you can understand."

Ireland prop Cian Healy trained fully on Tuesday, to complete a quick recovery from ankle trouble.

The Leinster wrecking-ball spent Saturday night in a compression boot, a move that accelerated his recovery enough to leave him ready for action against France.

Scrum-half Conor Murray also returned to full training after illness.

Full-back Rob Kearney took time for extra tackling practice, after he was left  "disappointed" to miss Leonardo Sarto for Italy's sole score in Ireland's 46-7 Dublin victory last weekend.

"Rob just spent some time working on his technique for that kind of tackle," said the Ireland coach.

Kiss challenged Ireland to pay special attention to "world class" wing Huget, especially when he roams into midfield.

"I think he's world class, his base skill-sets are very good, and he doesn't just sit on his wing," said Kiss.

"You might see him bobbing up in midfield two or three times in phases, working off the nine, but two phases later he can be on the wing, getting the ball in space, chip-kicking and re-gathering.

"I just think it's his appetite to be hunting for opportunities to look for mismatches and opportunities to inject himself into the game, he doesn't just wait for these opportunities."

Despite the detailed analysis, Kiss conceded Ireland must be ready for anything against the most resourceful side in the Six Nations.

"As much as you want to analyse them, they can find their way out of tight corners better than most teams," said Kiss.

"They don't rely on this structure I was talking about it in its own right: if it's not quite working for them they have some individual brilliance to make things happen.

"You can't box them in, they always find another way.
"We need to be alive more so than at any other time during this campaign, without a doubt."

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