London Irish primed for Racing Metro backlashBy Matthew Sadler
December 16, 2011
David Paice and Bob Casey have warned their London Irish teammates to expect a French backlash tomorrow when Racing Metro travel to Madejski Stadium (3pm kickoff).
Exiles beat Metro 34-14 in Paris last Saturday to keep alive their hopes of qualifying from Pool 2 of the Heineken Cup and eliminating the French side from the competition in the process.
As a result, Paice and Casey expect the visitors to play without fear and take the game to Irish in a match that Exiles have to win to stay in contention.
Paice said: “They will come out firing this weekend.
“They have such a big squad and class players throughout that they can almost pick a new team and have 15 internationals on the field.
“Whoever they pick it will be a very testing game tomorrow.
“They are in a win-win situation. It will be an exciting game to watch from a spectator’s point of view. It will be fun to play in.”
Casey added: “They are really dangerous. They probably have 40 players and of those 40 three-quarters of them are internationals and would get into any other squad.
“French sides that have nothing to lose can be very dangerous. They throw the ball around and off load. We are really focused on our own jobs and we know that if our attitude and workrate, which has been there all season, is right then we will get the result.”
Irish stunned the French crowd last weekend by running in 31 unanswered points to overturn a 14-3 deficit.
And Paice insists it was Exiles’ superior fitness levels that saw them claim a much-needed victory.
He said: “They had a great team out, but we have confidence in our own ability.
“We knew that if we kept them close in the first half they have a lot of big guys and we thought we would have the better fitness levels at the end and we showed that we did.”