Rugby World Cup 2015: France v Ireland

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RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015

Pool D

France v Ireland 

Monday, 12 October 02:45

 

Even though both teams have qualified for the knockout stages there is still an enormous amount on the line as the winner earns a quarter-final against Argentina while the loser will have the unenviable task of attempting to dethrone the All Blacks. Without lighting up the tournament, France have gone about their task efficiently in their opening three matches, recording three wins all within a 22-27 point margin. They’ve now won 12/15 pool stage matches since 2003 with each victory exceeding a 20 point margin. Ireland excelled against the two minnows, Canada and Romania, but limped to an unconvincing 16-9 victory over Italy last weekend. Joe Schmidt will hope for a much higher level of performance here as they aim to beat France for the first time ever at a World Cup.

From 2003-2011 Le Blues dominated this head-to-head prevailing in 11/12, but significantly they’ve D2-L2 since Phillipe Saint-Andre took over proceedings in 2012 with both defeats coming against Schmidt’s Irish side in the last two years. The current Six Nations champions lost heavily the last time these two met at a World Cup in 2007 but in the 10 matches since the two teams have been separated by a single figure margin on eight occasions.

France have won their last three fixtures against Six Nations opponents but they’re yet to win four in a row under Saint-Andre. In fact, since the former international winger took over the reins he has struggled for consistency best evidenced by a 50% win rate in 24 matches against their European rivals. However, England are the only one of their Six Nations rivals to have beaten them previously at a World Cup.

Under Schmidt, Ireland have won two Six Nations titles in a row and in all matches they are 11 from 15 as only England and Wales have come away with victories. At World Cups they have only won four of their last nine against Tier 1 nations and two of those came against Italy and one against Argentina back in 2003.

France’s pool stage record highlights that when it’s tight they fail to come out on top. The recent head-to-head between these two suggests this will be a close match so given Ireland’s improvement under Schmidt we are inclined to lean towards them.

 

Key Stats

  • France have won 12 of their last 24 fixtures against Six nations opponents
  • France have never beaten Ireland under Phillipe Saint-Andre
  • Ireland have never beaten France in a World Cup
  • Ireland have won 11 of their last 15 against Six Nations opponents

 

Recommendation: Ireland Win 1.81