Jared Payne and Peter O’Mahony of Ireland with Mathieu Bastareaud of France:  Ireland made no line breaks, scored no tries but still won the game at the Aviva Stadium last week. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland won ugly against France because the game’s laws favour that kind of negative play

Players push in a scrum during the Six Nations  match between Italy and Ireland at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

Ireland should win with France a shadow of the great creative power they once were

Seán O’Brien emerges at Stadio Olimpico in Rome for the captain’s run. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Seán O’Brien will help with the forwards’ ball carrying but he cannot be alone

“Ireland played great footy and deserved to win (last November), but the kicking was way too much. That’s not how we play. The mindset is a massive difference.”

Six Nations drama largely exists outside Australian paradigm

Tevita Kuridrani of Australia escapes France’s Yoann Huget during their Test match at the Stade de France, Paris on November 15th. Photograph: Reuters.

Australia’s lack of game management may see Joe Schmidt’s side home

Guinness Autumn International, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 8/11/2014 Ireland vs South Africa Springboks Ireland’s Devin Toner, Paul O’Connell and Rhys Ruddock with Bismarck du Plessis of South Africa SpringboksMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Reaction to win against Springboks a little over the top considering how poor Irish attack was

South Africa forced New Zealand to produce a staggering 252 tackles in their recent Rugby Championship match in Johannesburg. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Image

Matt Williams believes Heyneke Meyer has added flair to physicality and it is a masterstroke

French rugby not in a great current state but one lapse in concentration and they remain capable of stealing a match

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