The defeat of France by the Pumas last night was quite a shock. Bernard Laporte erred grieviously in team selection. Since his appointment he has been dogged by criticism. The hype in France probably got to the team also. In addition the French probably underestimated Argentina.
There is an assumption amongst many Irish supporters that Les Blues are there for the taking. This is unlikely to be the case. Unfortunately Ireland may suffer a French backlash. Errors in team selection will be corrected. Generally the French can defeat Ireland on home soil. France may destroy Ireland in the scrums. French players will know that defeat to Ireland will result in an ignominious exit from the competition. Ireland can expect a torrid encounter. France will probably make a whirlwind start and attempt to destroy Ireland in the first twenty-five minutes.
Some analysts on the various channels were unwilling to give Argentina too much credit. The Pumas have problems in the line out. Also they resorted quite a lot to the garryowen. Panellists were of the opinion that overuse of the garrowen-against Ireland-would play into Girvan Dempsey’s hands.
The Argentinean front row is superior to Ireland's. They will probably pummel us in the scrums. Their confidence will be at an all time high. There is an assumption that the Irish team is stronger than it actually is. In several key positions there is a lack of adequate cover. There must be doubts about the fitness of Shane Horgan and David Wallace. Ireland can secure an advantage in the line –out. Also the Irish back division is superior on paper. Hopefully Ireland can eke out a win. It will not be pretty.