Six Nations 2012: Paul O’Connell desperate to end France hoodoo

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell wants his side to claim their first victory on French soil since beating Les Bleus in 2000

ireland rugby world cup
Ireland take on France in Paris on Sunday Photo: M+MD, via Flickr

ireland rugby world cup

Paul O’Connell has tasted defeat every time he’s played at the Stade de France and admits it’s time to set the record straight on Sunday.

Five times the Munster and Ireland lock has represented club and country at the home of French rugby and five times he has headed home defeated.

If O’Connell’s individual record is bad then Ireland’s is even worse with just a solitary Championship victory on French soil since 1972.

A further defeat on Sunday would end Ireland’s chances of a first Six Nations triumph since their Grand Slam of 2009 and O’Connell insists the time for waiting is over.

“We’ve given them soft tries in my time since I’ve been there,” he said.

“That’s been the most common theme and you just can’t do that in Paris.

“We’ve certainly played some good rugby there, but usually after we’ve left ourselves with too big a mountain to climb. Maybe we’ve tried a little bit too hard in the past.

“In the first half-hour against Italy last weekend it wasn’t a great performance, but we were patient. Against France we must play in the right parts of the pitch.

“A big part of it for us will be eradicating those errors that can cost you momentum. You have to take you best game over there.

“If we play to our potential we can beat anyone, but reaching that level is the challenge.”

© Sportsbeat 2012

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