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'You don't fluke two victories down there!' | Ireland can cause hassles at the World Cup | Brian O'Driscoll

Ireland can use the series victory in New Zealand as a stepping stone for their World Cup preparations, with a view to make the final, according to Brian O'Driscoll.



'You don't fluke two victories...
Rugby

'You don't fluke two victories down there!' | Ireland can cause hassles at the World Cup | Brian O'Driscoll

Ireland can use the series victory in New Zealand as a stepping stone for their World Cup preparations, with a view to make the final, according to Irish legend Brian O'Driscoll.

The new World Number One side earned their spot atop the world rankings with a historic victory over the All Blacks in Wellington on Saturday.

It not only marked the first time that a Northern Hemisphere side has won a series in New Zealand, but it was also the first time since 2009 that New Zealand had lost to the same test side two matches in a row.

While some have already suggested that Irish rugby fans should not get carried away with the win, Brian O'Driscoll agree with the likes of Matt Williams and Keith Wood that it was indeed Ireland's biggest achievement to date.

However, O'Driscoll feels that it can be a catalyst for something even greater.

Speaking on Wednesday Night Rugby, O'Driscoll responded to those saying that the tour was Irish Rugby's finest hour to date.

"I couldn't possibly disagree with that," O'Driscoll said. "Obviously we won three Grand Slams, the first one well before our time.

"It was a real momentous occasion in '09, to get to where we got to and eventually get to the Holy Grail of a Grand Slam. We've picked off victories over Australia and South Africa, a bit more regularly in the noughties.

"We left one behind in '07. The reality is, that only served as a catalyst for greater achievements. Another Grand Slam and these continual victories against the All Blacks.

"Ultimately, going and winning a series, two of three games down in New Zealand, this is a really, really special thing this group of players has achieved."

While he was part of a Grand Slam winning side, and won three Triple Crowns, O'Driscoll feels there is no argument that this is Ireland's most important rugby achievement to date.

"I certainly wouldn't be putting up any sort of argument to say that this isn't the greatest achievement," O'Driscoll said. "But the great thing is it feels like it is the scope to be the beginning of something, not the end product.

"This group, if they can continue with this level of progression, will cause every team at the World Cup hassle. I am not saying we are going to win it. I'm not saying we are necessarily going to go further.

"But they are going to cause real problems with the calibre of the individuals and the collective clicking."

'Nothing short of a World Cup final will outdo this feat'

Speaking to OTB Sports ahead of the third test, O'Driscoll said that the series victory would be bigger than reaching the World Cup semi final. Now that Ireland have won the series, O'Driscoll stands by those sentiments.

He feels that nothing short of a World Cup final appearance will trump the series victory over the All Blacks. O'Driscoll even feels that a Webb Ellis title is not too far out of this group's ability.

"The reality is, you can look at these separately," O'Driscoll said. "This will never be taken away from them. You don't fluke two victories down there!

"Even the English World Cup winning team in '03 did manage a victory, but not two down there. This is significant out on its own.

"We are still very expectant of this team to go beyond a quarter final, irrespective of the opposition, such is where they are at the moment. They are going to have to play an exceptional game.

"Even to go on to greater things. All of a sudden now, I'd love to be a fly on the wall, they are not talking about a World Cup semi final. They want to win it!

"It feels ver unIrish to do that, because we haven't been in a World Cup semi final. A losing World Cup semi final is a disappointment right now.

"A World Cup final would be a greater achievement than a series win, but nothing short of that will outdo this brilliant achievement and feat!"

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