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Ireland must bring 'that bit of madness' – O'Brien


EYES ON THE PRIZE: Sean O’Brien during Ireland squad training.

EYES ON THE PRIZE: Sean O’Brien during Ireland squad training.

EYES ON THE PRIZE: Sean O’Brien during Ireland squad training.

Flanker Seán O'Brien wants Ireland to draw on "the bit of madness that we have in ourselves" to thwart record-seeking New Zealand.

The Carlow man has always had that "eye of the tiger" gaze which lets you know one thing from the start: There is self-belief surging right through him.

"We have to have great belief. We have to bring that emotion and that bit of madness that we have in ourselves at times and try and do a job on these lads.

"At the end of the day, it's 15 against 15 and I've seen in the past that when we bring a bit of emotion and loads of energy to a game, we're right up there with any team.

"So I think that's what you'll see this week. I think hopefully we can bring that."

The Tullow Tank was not about to be drawn into a one-on-one personal pre-match battle with All Black captain Richie McCaw. He will save that for tomorrow.

"It is not about a personal thing or about trying to see if I am able to match Richie McCaw," he said.

"He might be seeing if he'll be able to match me in different areas.

"I'm not worried about that at all. It is about doing what's good and fitting into our game plan," he continued.


"If I try and have a personal battle against someone, it doesn't work.

"He'll be the same, you know. He'll play to what suits him and what suits the All Black game, you know.

"It will be about me getting my hands on a bit of ball, sorting out the ruck early doors, going from there."

O'Brien is also well aware that he can't do it all by himself.

The Test match arena is not a place to carry anyone else.

He has to have trust in himself – that's a given – and the same level of trust in those around him.

He is confident Ireland will not do the "stupid things" that got them into trouble they couldn't get out of against Australia.

"We knew. I knew afterwards. I was very annoyed with the way we all played. We just didn't execute. We didn't get any structure or momentum into the game," he said.

"I can assure you we won't be as off the pace as we were last week."