Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Date: February 13th, 2011,
Coverage: Live on BBC1, Kick Off: 3.00pm
Ireland play their first Six Nations game at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday and the Irish crowd that fill the 51,700 seats will be expecting a much-improved performance from the dross that was on display in Rome.
France looked dangerous every time they attacked against Scotland, but their defence still managed to concede three tries to a side that had previously scored just the one try in their prior five tests.
Ireland are 5/4 to beat France on Sunday with the French available at 8/13, but the handicap market offers all the value in a match-up which has produced some tight finishes in Dublin.
France’s two Six Nations wins in Dublin were by 9 and 7 points, while Ireland’s wins have been by 13, 4, and 3 points.
France can justify their favouritism in Dublin after a strong showing in Paris and is worth backing the French at 11/8 with a six-point disadvantage.
The French attack is so strong that Ireland have to take the game to France if they are to stand any chance of winning and this will mean plenty of tries – the last three games in Dublin have produced an average of four tries.
Jamie Heaslip’s return is a huge boost to Ireland and he is 11/2 to score a try at any time, but Brian O’Driscoll holds the Irish record for tries in this game and is 10/3 to score any time.
France’s danger man is Maxime Medard and he is 2/1 to score any time, but Damien Traille’s move to centre makes him the value at 4/1 to score any time.
Ireland’s discipline will be a key factor in the outcome of this game, and after conceding 13 penalties in Rome, Ireland look a strong bet at 11/8 to receive one yellow card or more.
With penalties in mind, the 13/8 for the first score to be a France penalty looks the pick of the market.
A £25 stake on France winning by 6-10 points would return £137.50. New customers can sign up here for a free Six Nations bet worth £25.
Ireland: L Fitzgerald, F McFadden, B O’Driscoll (c), G D’Arcy, K Earls, J Sexton, T O’Leary; C Healy, R Best, M Ross, D O’Callaghan, P O’Connell, S O’Brien, D Wallace, J Heaslip
Replacements: S Cronin, T Court, L Cullen, D Leamy, E Reddan, R O’Gara, P Wallace
France: C Poitrenaud, Y Huget, A Rougerie, D Traille, M Medard, F Trinh-Duc, M Parra; T Domingo, W Servat, N Mas, J Pierre, Ll Nallet, T Dusautoir (c), J Bonnaire, I Harinordoquy
Replacements: G Guirado, S Marconnet, J Thion, S Chabal, D Yachvili, Y Jauzion, V Clerc
Referee: D Pearson