Gordon D’Arcy believes Ireland will become a major force if they continue to pursue their high-risk strategy – even though it contributed to their downfall at the Stade de France on Saturday.
Ireland launched a stunning final quarter fightback which saw them peg back a 43-3 deficit to 43-31, the final scoreline after their revival had run out of steam.
Five of France’s six tries were scored as a result of Irish mistakes but D’Arcy insists such a large and decisive error-count is a one-off and should not be allowed to change the gameplan.
“Scoring lots of tries is always the way you want to play. How we were set up to play was the same right throughout the match – from the first scrum we went after France,” he said.
“It wasn’t until the 50th minute that we started to make inroads. We played a high risk game and suffered as a result of it, handing France five tries.
“There were blocks, charge downs and intercepts. These might happen once a game but five times is tough.
“France are one of the top three teams in the world and they will always punish those types of mistakes, but we can still play that high risk game and win.
“We’ve got a good taste for it now. We tried to play the same way against Italy but didn’t get the tries we wanted.
“We will sit back and decide how to carry on. If we can put the tries away early on there will be very few teams that can live with us.”
Ireland’s remarkable comeback left France grateful they had amassed such a commanding lead and D’Arcy, who ran in the visitors’ second try, felt they had the momentum to finish off Les Blues.
“Our heads never went down, even when France were scoring all their tries. We were on the pulse and knew we were playing all the rugby,” he said.
“Then it clicked for us in the second half when we got over the gainline and started making clean breaks. We put four tries away and were unlucky not to score a couple more.
“When Andrew Trimble went over for the last try I thought we could win the match. They were coughing up penalties on the line and I thought we would sneak one more. We finished stronger.”
D’Arcy missed most of last season’s RBS Six Nations Championship with a hamstring injury but the Leinster centre believes he is beginning to recapture the form which made him the 2004 player of the tournament.
“There’s a lot more to come but I’m getting more confident with every game. (Head coach) Eddie O’Sullivan has been great with me,” he said.
“He’s slowly but surely rebuilding my confidence so I’m enjoying my rugby. The sort of rugby we played in the last quarter against France suited me.
“I like that style and having the ball in hand – that is where my strength lies.”
Ireland resume their Six Nations campaign against Wales at Lansdowne Road on February 26 with Mike Ruddock’s side hoping to build on yesterday’s 28-18 victory over Scotland.