Quick links: Rugby Video | Six Nations Rugby | Premiership Rugby | LV= Cup | Rugby Championship | Heineken Cup Rugby | Pro 12 Rugby | Super Rugby | Currie Cup Rugby | Rugby World Cup

Brunel :Italy must not let Ireland dictate pace

Email Article | | Print Article | Click here for a free $150 Bet

Article Published: Friday 24 February 2012

Italy coach Jacques Brunel says Italy will have to prevent Ireland from dictating the tempo of their Six Nations match if they are to win in Dublin.

Italy are looking for a boost following defeats against France and England this season while Ireland lost the only game they played against Wales.

It was the second time in a row the Irish have lost to Wales but Brunel says that doesn't mean the 2009 Grand Slam winners are past their best.

"No, I don't think so. It's true that maybe there are a few players we've seen for a while," said Brunel.

"We know (Paul) O'Connell and (Donncha) O'Callaghan but the back row have been playing for two or three years which means they're experienced without being very old.

"It's a team with a lot of potential, they knew how to change it bit by bit and we can see that without (Brian) O'Driscoll and (Ronan) O'Gara who plays less.

"They've brought (Jonathan) Sexton back in, they changed the scrum-half a year ago and they've modified their team while staying very competitive.

"They could have won just as easily as Wales. They're two teams who are very close but in the game it went Wales's way.

"Don't forget Wales are the Six Nations favourites and they had a great World Cup.

"We can find a few excuses for Ireland but they deserved to win as much as Wales.

"They're still a complete, strong, physically strong team and they can play in all areas.

"(They can play) up front while they have enterprising backs and Tommy Bowe who scores a lot."

The key for Italy, says Brunel, is to stop Ireland dictating the tempo.

He says they're very effective at slowling down opposition ball so his team have to find a way to combat that.

"It's their characteristic, they're best in this sector, they have the ability not just to get back the ball but also to dictate the rhythm of the match," said Brunel.

"They're the ones who impose their rhythm on their opponents, that's a great strength and a crucial point.

"If ever we can resolve that so that we don't submit to this pressure and instead turn it around then maybe we can get a result.

"They're good at this but their strength can also be their weakness because being strong in one area can mean they are weaker in another, so it's about solving that.

"We cannot get away from the breakdown, we have to be very precise in this zone at the least.

"In the challenges, the support, the quality of support, the technique of the ball carrier we must be very precise so as not to submit to our opponents' control."

Italy have never beaten Ireland in the Six Nations while last time out they came their closest yet to a first ever victory over England as they led 15-6 early in the second half in Rome before conceding 13 unanswered points.

But that defeat is now out of the team's system.

"It was a good chance but then that means we've still got obstacles to pass but they're there to be jumped," said Brunel.

"We need to eliminate the defects in our game and the points we give away, and I'm not just talking about the counter-attacks.

"Three times we made a mistake (against England) and that was three points every time which we could avoid because they weren't dangerous situations.

"We're giving points away too easily and if we can eliminate that and be more effective in getting points with the boot then we will have the ability to get results.

"That's our first objective."

Heineken Cup Rugby News
Armitage slapped with 12 week ban for misconduct
Toulon fullback Delon Armitage has been given a 12 week suspension for unsportsmanlike behaviour in his team's 25-21 loss to Leicester Tigers at Welford Road in the European Rugby Champions third Round.
Read more on this Rugby news article

Other recent news
Castrogiovanni fined and has ban suspended
Harlequins lock Matthews could face one year ban
Wasps depart Adams Park with big Castres victory

More Heineken Cup Rugby News

Aviva Premiership
Bonus point Wasps blow London Irish away
Andy Goode scored 33 points for Wasps in their 48-16 victory over London Irish in the Aviva Premiership at their new home the Ricoh Stadium in Coventry.
Read more on this Rugby news article

Other recent news
Northampton beat Leicester Tigers despite Red
Saracens romp to victory over London Welsh
Bath ease past Gloucester in Premiership

More Aviva Premiership News

Anglo Welsh Cup News
Cardiff down Scarlets in Anglo Welsh LV= Cup
Cardiff Blues secured their second Anglo Welsh LV= Cup victory when they beat fellow Welsh side the Scarlets at the Arms Park on Friday night.
Read more on this Rugby news article

Other recent news
Dragons upset Ospreys in Anglo Welsh LV Cup
Leicester come from behind to beat Sale Sharks
Wasps down Exiles for first LV Cup victory

More Anglo Welsh Cup News

Six Nations Rugby
Under fire Johnson gets backing from bosses
Scottish Rugby Union chief executive Mark Dodson has denied claims that Scott Johnson has been rewarded for failure after Scotland's miserable 2014 Six Nations campaign.
Read more on this Rugby news article

Other recent news
England's Brown wins Six Nations best player
Scotland fullback Hogg gets three week ban
Warburton to be out of action for 'several months'

More Six Nations Rugby News

Rugby Week Sponsor
Latest Rugby video