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O'Driscoll clockwatch

6.20 -- As the evening sunshine fades, there are only a sprinkling of enthusiastic youngsters mulling around the RDS when the Leinster team emerge from the dressing-room for their pre-match warm-up.

6.40 -- A swelling congregation of blue-clad supporters cheer as the Irish captain slams -- with not even a tentative regard for his once damaged shoulder -- into a beefy tacklebag.

7.10 -- Receives his first touch and instantly beats two men before trying an outrageous offload before the tackle.

7.15 -- Hits his first ruck with typical vigour.

7.20 -- Almost gets kicked in the head by opposition wing Hanno Dirksen at another ruck.

7.25 -- Gets the ball in traffic, sidesteps and slips slightly before being creamed by Tom Smith.

8.06 -- Marshalling his troops as a rare Ospreys attack crowds the goalline, O'Driscoll seizes the opportunity to effect a turnover, demonstrating superb technique and strength to plunge on top of Ryan Jones and bear his weigh and win his side a relieving penalty kick.

8.16 -- Leinster seek to pounce for what could be the winning score. As O'Driscoll burrows into another ruck near the goalposts, he emerges to clamber for the blindside but just falls short in his attempts to barrel over from a few yards out.

8.24 -- After 58 minutes, departs to a standing ovation from the sell-out crowd and exchanges a gentlemanly series of handshakes with his replacements bench. There is more serious work to be done in the weeks ahead.

Irish Independent