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O'Driscoll: "We have to beat them with a bit of intelligence" 

Speaking on Off The Ball, O'Driscoll pointed out that the euphoria from this set of results doesn't come around too often.

Cameron Hill
Cameron Hill

15:07 25 Nov 2021



Cameron Hill
Cameron Hill

15:07 25 Nov 2021


Leinster and Ireland legend Brian O'Driscoll believes Ireland should enjoy the highs from their performances in this year's Autumn Nations Series.

Sunday's 53-7 demolition of Argentina capped an impressive set of results in this autumn's tests, with resounding wins over Japan and New Zealand.

However, the approach from the Ireland camp has been to downplay their performances slightly and refuse to get too caught up in heady optimism.

But O'Driscoll argues that the team should put their achievements this November into perspective.

Speaking on Off The Ball, O'Driscoll pointed out that the euphoria from this set of results doesn't come around too often, and not savouring the victories would be a missed opportunity.

"Sometimes it [takes] a victory against a superpower like England," O'Driscoll said. "Even though they've had a poor Six Nations, it didn't matter. It felt like it was a real catalyst for that shape to evolve over the summer with the Lions away."

"But then, when they got into camp again, it felt like they picked up where they left off from the Six Nations. Then, you get a really good performance against Japan. You play the best team in the world in New Zealand, and you beat them."

"And then, the easy thing to do would be to have scrapped to victory against Argentina by 20 points because they're scrappers."

"But, to put 50 on them was, I think, a resounding message that they feel as though they really clicked as a team, and that, when they're at their best, they can really build a score."

"When have we beaten Argentina by 50 points?" O'Driscoll continued. "I don't care if they're at the end of their season or what not; 50 points is a big number against a Tier 1 nation like them."

O'Driscoll: "We have to beat them with a bit of intelligence"

O'Driscoll also noted that Ireland need to devise alternatives to beating teams through sheer brute force.

"We've learned in the past that, when trying to take people on at their game - England, South Africa, France - we've come off second-best," O'Driscoll explained.

"To consistently beat those teams, we're gonna have to use that physical prowess, but also [...] beat them with a bit of intelligence."

"We don't have the same number of athletes that other teams have. Our depth goes to 30, maybe 35, of really great quality. But beyond that, it's a significant fall-off. We want to hold onto them."

"So, how do you modify your game to make it that little bit easier to play week on week uninjured?"

O'Driscoll cited Schalk Burger as a player who totally changed his approach to games. "Remember his early days, with that blond hair bobbing up and down, running down and trying to make holes for people," O'Driscoll said. "He would then have long-term injuries and a long illness. Then, he came back, and there was a question of whether he could do it again."

"He became a playmaker. He realised: 'If I want to stay in this game, I have to modify and change things. I have to present one picture, and then distribute out the back as well'; that's what your seeing in that front pod."

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Read more about

All Blacks Andy Farrell Argentina Autumn Nations Series Aviva Stadium Brian O'Driscoll Ireland Rugby Japan New Zealand November Internationals Rugby On Off The Ball Schalk Burger Six Nations

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