Friday 20 January 2017

No repeat of 'un-Irish' 2007 bravado, vows O'Driscoll

RUGBY

Hugh Farrelly

Published 09/08/2011 | 05:00

BRIAN O'DRISCOLL insists there will be no repeat of the "un-Irish" pre-World Cup bravado from four years ago as Ireland gear up for New Zealand 2011.

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After Saturday's 10-6 defeat to Scotland in Edinburgh, Ireland travel to Bordeaux to face France this weekend, which will bring back memories of their nightmare stay there in 2007 when Eddie O'Sullivan's squad holed up in a remote hotel while their World Cup aspirations crashed around them.

With his neck/shoulder injury responding well to treatment, O'Driscoll, who could play this weekend if required (although that is unlikely to happen), says Ireland are employing a completely different approach for this tournament. "It was probably a very un-Irish thing that we did four years ago," said O'Driscoll.

"We had a relatively good Six Nations, just got pipped (for the title by France) in literally the last minute of the final game, and yeah, I think we probably fell into the trap of doing something that is innately not an Irish attribute: talking ourselves up.

"You're better off just plugging along and worrying about the 'now'.

"Performance takes care of the result and hopefully this weekend we can up our performance, particularly from an attacking point of view and cause serious problems for the French.

"The result will be what it is provided we can get the performance. The mentality has changed. We've had our highs and lows throughout the years. We've had some good wins, but we've still had some bad losses.

"The mentality is that we feel as though if we can play really well and play to our ability, that we are a match for anyone in the world.

"That's probably something a little different from back in the early years, when you were absolutely delighted if you managed to turn someone over, very pleased if you turned someone over in the Six Nations," added O'Driscoll, who suffered a fractured cheekbone in a warm-up game against Bayonne four years ago.

Irish Independent

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