Sunday 25 February 2018

'You won't get away with conceding three tries against England or Wales' - Brian O'Driscoll

Italy's full-back Matteo Minozzi scores their third try and (inset) Brian O'Driscoll
Italy's full-back Matteo Minozzi scores their third try and (inset) Brian O'Driscoll
Italy's full-back Matteo Minozzi scores their third try

Brian O'Driscoll has said that while Ireland will be "thrilled" with their bonus point victory over Italy at the Aviva Stadium, they simply can't concede three tries against England or Wales and expect a win.

Joe Schmidt's men ran in eight tries in a 56-19 victory over the Italians but Conor O'Shea's side opened the Irish up on three occasions.

A raft of second-half changes disrupted Ireland's momentum, but former Ireland captain O'Driscoll says the Boys in Green won't get away with it against stronger opposition.

"We created a huge amount, got a small bit disjointed in the second half with the raft of changes coming in," said O'Driscoll on ITV.

"It's always difficult to keep the cohesion going when you get new combinations coming together. But for the most part they will be extremely happy.

"They did concede three tries. Credit to Italy, they didn't allow themselves to be rolled over. But Ireland will be very pleased. To get a bonus point against any of these sides...they will be thrilled.

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"These tournaments are won on defence and against sides like England and Wales, you concede three tries they will make it an awful lot more difficult to score against them.

"A lot to work on in that capacity but let's not take away from it. Any time you score 56 points you have to be pleased."

Keith Earls denied Italy a fourth try with brilliant cover tackle in the final minute and he was delighted to see some of the younger players get game time.

"We scored some really good tries, we got a few from turnovers as well so we will be happy with that. To put 56 points on a good Italian side, we will take that any day.

"My calves are still out there cramping somewhere (following cover tackle). That's what we are there to do.   

"It was brilliant (to see some of the youngsters involved), Jacob getting in for two tries and Jordan on his debut to come on and show good feet and workrate.

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