A key feature of Ireland's success so far has been at the line out, where O'Donovan's astute coaching has resulted in Paul O'Connell, Malcolm O'Kellyand Co. defeating their opposites and giving Ireland a critical edge.
The upshot is that O'Connell, who celebrated his 24th birthday earlier in the tournament, is being heralded as the young line out star of the World Cup.
O'Donovan's contribution as forwards' coach and specialist line outtactician is gaining widespread recognition, adding to the general sense of acceptance that Ireland, as a world force, are being afforded.
After a one-hour session - while the backs held a meeting at their down town hotel under the direction of assistant coach Declan Kidney - it was a
Largely speaking it was a day of R&R for the 22 man squadinvolved in the match against France, while some of those not directly concerned in the game enjoyed some horse racing on Ladies Day at the Melbourne Cupfestival!
Ireland also did some training indoors in their build up to the Australian match last Saturday when they demonstrated that playing under a closed roof did not stifle their style.
Answering a question about whether the firm footing and still conditions under the Telstra Dome would give France the advantage, Ireland coach EddieO'Sullivan said that his team had the ball skills to take on the best. In the past, he said, the weather had been the great equaliser between Ireland and the more flamboyant teams.
We've been trying to shake off the tag of being a monsoon rugby team O'Sullivan said. The rugby we played last Saturday night was as good as Australia played and they're a top of the ground team.