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'They like to get in your face': Griggs' Ireland steel themselves for French pressure test

After their flying start in Wales, Ireland are preparing for a much tougher examination against France.

Beibhinn Parsons, centre, starred for Ireland against Wales on Saturday.
Beibhinn Parsons, centre, starred for Ireland against Wales on Saturday.
Image: Robbie Stephenson/INPHO

IRELAND WILL HAVE to significantly improve if they are to beat France despite stuffing Wales 45-0 in Cardiff.

Adam Griggs’ side might have run riot in the Welsh capital, scoring seven tries in the process, but they faced very little resistance throughout the game making it difficult to gauge how good they really are.

And with France’s semi-professional status Griggs believes Ireland will have to go up the gears to have any chance in next weekend’s Six Nations clash.

“I don’t think we’ll be afforded the same amount of time next week,” said Grigg.

“They are a big physical team. They like to get in your face and put you under pressure from a physical point of view so we know we are going to have to be ready for that.

“They get up off the line hard and that’s something we weren’t really tested on against Wales where we had a lot of time to play with the ball in our hands.

“For us we need to stick together as a 15. We are much better as a collective rather than going individually.”

Despite having not played a test match for over a year Ireland came out of the blocks firing with Eimear Considine the first to score, before player of the match Beibhinn Parsons crossed for two tries in the space of four minutes. Her first was an early contender for try of the championship, when she brushed off Robyn Wilkins before running in unopposed from 50 metres out.

Considine effectively jogged past five Welsh defenders before turning inside to score their third which put her side 24-0 up after a mere 20 minutes. Powerful inside centre Sene Naoupu scored their fifth try as she crashed over from short range before Lindsay Peat had a try disallowed meaning the visitors led 31-0 lead at the interval.

Dorothy Wall, who was outstanding throughout, and Hannah Tyrrell scored second half tries for the visitors. And Grigg was extremely impressed by the performance of industrious blindside Wall.

“She’s only going to get better,” said Grigg when asked about Wall.

“She is one of the players we’ve seen around defence where she hits hard and finishes tackles off. That’s something for us that’s a real positive. When you add in the back-row combination they all offer something different.

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“On the other side of the ball she carries hard as well. There’s a couple of subtleties to her game she can improve on around her handling and the option of when to give the passes but there’s no doubt about her potential.”

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