France v Ireland
France not 'dishevelled place of chaos' insist Ireland
ESPN Staff
March 12, 2014
France celebrate Gael Fickou's match-winning try at the death, France v England, Six Nations, Stade de France, Paris, February 1, 2014
France ... dangerous more than shambolic © Getty Images

If there is a general view that France this season have turned into something of a shambles, it is not one shared by Ireland who believe they remain a potent force because of their variety of attacking options.

"There's a way they play that you have to be aware of," Ireland assistant coach Les Kiss explained. "They're a dangerous team across the park. They allow their individuals to put themselves in dangerous situations."

He said that a "forensic" examination of the way the French play has shown a game plan designed to look shambolic but one that offers plenty attacking avenues for their marauding finishers.

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

"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.

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