Key to bonus point win for Irish is defence, says Sexton

Johnny Sexton said Ireland were disciplined without the ball against the Azzurri in Dublin but last Saturday's visitors still crossed twice. AFP/Odd Andersen

DUBLIN - Ireland captain Johnny Sexton said his side will have to be resolute in defence against France this weekend if they are to give themselves a chance of securing the bonus point win to assure themselves of the Six Nations title.

The 35-year-old flyhalf admitted a bonus-point win on Saturday in Paris against a transformed Bleus side under the guidance of Fabien Galthie is a "big ask".

Ireland top the table a point above England and the French going into the final day of the tournament halted in March by the coronavirus pandemic.

READ: Wallabies lock laughs off All Blacks intimidation tactics

With England expected to rack up a huge score over bottom side Italy in Rome, Sexton's men need the full complement of match points to take the title.

However, Galthie's outfit entertain title ambitions of their own after last Saturday's impressive five-try win over Wales in a warm-up game.

"Their ability to score out of nothing points to the individual flair that they have," Sexton said.

READ: All Blacks, Wallabies relaunch Test rugby with a thriller

"They are unbelievably connected and together, if you show those doglegs in defence they are through the gaps pretty quick.

"A big ask, but we know that, and we're preparing ourselves for a big performance."

Sexton said Ireland were disciplined without the ball against the Azzurri in Dublin but last Saturday's visitors still crossed twice.

"Our defence for 90 per cent of the match was good, then there were a couple of things," said Sexton.

"But you know nothing will ever be perfect in Paris."

Source
AFP