Saturday 24 March 2018

Bowe out to stun French

TOMMY BOWE'S ’s three tries in the first two Six Nations games have moved him one ahead of Shane Horgan into third place in Ireland’s all-time try-scoring list.

He has also managed it in 46 internationals. These bare facts tend to suggest he is doing just fine on the flank of Ireland’s attack.

He seems to agree.

“For me, my preferred position would definitely be on the wing. If I was asked to go into 13, I would be more than happy to do that,” he said.

“I have played there quite a bit for the Ospreys and it would be an extra skills set |for me going forward,” he remarked, side-stepping the fact that he has much more prominence on the wing for |his Welsh provincial club.

“It is always nice to get on the scoresheet, obviously disappointing that try didn’t count for much in the Welsh match,” he said.

“I thought Keith (Earls) played very well at 13 and Ferg (McFadden) had a good game against the Welsh. There are obviously big shoes to fill there.”

No matter, the Monaghan man is on form and in the mood to demonstrate his prowess to the French.

Ireland just have to figure out the best way of bringing him into the game because France’s slide defence heads straight in his direction. They need a game plan.

“The coaches have been around a long time. It is just putting their small touches on it,” he added. “When we get into the opposition’s half, we’ve always looked dangerous.

“Our problem the last couple of weeks has been getting out of our own half. Between Wales and Italy, whenever we get down there we get points. The big thing for us (is) to try and spend more time in the opposition half.

“More tries doesn’t necessarily translate into more points. France have a big-game kicker in Morgan Parra and Jonathan Sexton went seven from eight against Italy.

“The weather reports look a little bit better than last time,” added Bowe, in reference to the frozen condition in Paris three weeks ago. “There is a lot to play for. It is a huge game for us. Last year, we lost to them, even though we scored three tries to one.

“Our indiscipline really cost us. Whenever we go to (the) Stade de France, we can’t give them the opportunities to score easy points, easy penalties. It is a case of trying to put the pressure on them. At the same time, we will try and play our own game.”

There is also the problem of Ireland making a slow start and a fast finish not good enough to make up for what went before.

“Both teams will be looking for a big start,” said Bowe. “In the past, we’ve given them a huge head start and we’ve had to pull it back. For us, we have to try and stay in the game as long as we can.”

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