18/06/02.Eddie O’Sullivan named an unchanged starting line-up for Saturday’s second test against the All Blacks after training this morning at the Teachers Eastern Rugby club in Auckland.
Speaking to the assembled press at the mid day team announcement O’Sullivan said that the only slight problem from the training run was that Brian O’Driscoll had aggravated an ankle injury – picked up in the last game – but he didn’t see it as a problem and other than that everyone was in good shape.
Last Saturday’s game was one they might have won but let it slip. O’Sullivan said. And when asked of the prospects for the Eden Park encounter he continued.
They would like to throw down a marker again and put in another big performance. Now I don’t know if we’ll win next Saturday but I think we would like to feel we can put ourselves in a position to win the game. So it’s about trying to match the performance of last Saturday and maybe nudge it forward if possible.
Nor was O’Sullivan concerned that the referee would be a southern hemisphere official.
I’d look at him as an International Rugby Board referee. The game is a global one now and we often have referees from the southern hemisphere refereeing northern hemisphere games and vice-versa. So I would expect a homogenous approach to the game, that they would call the game exactly, both sides of the equator. Sometimes there are minor interpretation difficulties but they are things you should try hammer out before the game or early in the game with the referee. But I would expect it should be straight down the middle for everybody because they’re world referees now.
Once again O’Sullivan will wait until later in the week before announcing the replacements.
Ireland G Dempsey; G Murphy, B O’Driscoll, J Kelly, J Bishop; R O’Gara, P Stringer; R Corrigan, K Wood capt, J Hayes; G Longwell, P O’Connell; S Easterby, K Gleeson, A Foley.