The 45-year-old bears a pained expression when he is forced torecall the 43-21 humbling the Irish received in Melbourne last November andintends that never happens again as he seeks to go one better than last year andseal the Grand Slam.
"There is a difference between losing and losing badly,"he admitted. "We left the stadium that night feeling sick at ourperformance. It is not the easiest thing to rebuild ones confidence fromthat sort of hiding," added O'Sullivan, who only the week before had seen hisside push Australia all the way in their pool match ending up losing 17-16.
Inspirational centre and newly-appointed full-time skipper BrianO'Driscoll concurred with his coach and said they would seek to rectify theimpression they had left on the international stage when they meet in Paris onSt Valentines Day (February 14).
"We have to improve on our defence because in the first-halfof the quarter-final it was non-existant (they trailed 27-0)," said the25-year-old, who is racing against time to recover from a hamstring injury. "To see your World Cup disappear like that and in such a badfashion is a stunning feeling."
However O'Driscoll says that while the squad have not trainedtogether
"We have thought of a couple of things to hurt Francewith," said O'Driscoll, who Ireland will need fully fit to really stand anychance of beating the French and keeping alive their hopes of winning the GrandSlam.
O'Sullivan's main concern is that aside from O'Driscoll, who burstonto the international scene with a hat-trick of tries against France in 2000when Ireland ended a 28-year losing streak in Paris, he has a growinginjury list and the huge gap left by the retirement of Keith Wood.
Should O'Driscoll not make it they will be sorely hit in the backsas other absentees, certainly for the France match, are winger Denis Hickie(joint second equal with O'Driscoll on the all-time tryscorers list with 21)and exciting fullback Geordan Murphy, while veteran flankers Alan Quinlanand Eric Miller are also out.
"This is the problem a lot of sides are going to face with nobreak between the World Cup and the domestic season," said O'Sullivan. O'Sullivan, though, still believes that Ireland can have asuccessful tournament but tried to play down fans' expectations of the GrandSlam.
"England have been the best side in the world for the pastfive years and it took them that amount of time to achieve the Grand Slam ... thatis how hard it is to win it," he said.