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O’Sullivan Looking For Better Showing

O’Sullivan Looking For Better Showing

Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan is looking
for a far better showing from his side when they start their RBS Six Nations campaign

Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan is looking
for a far better showing from his side when they start their RBS Six Nations
against France, the team that walloped them in the World Cup

The 45-year-old bears a pained expression when he is forced to
recall the
43-21 humbling the Irish received in Melbourne last November and
intends that
never happens again as he seeks to go one better than last year and
seal the
Grand Slam.

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“There is a difference between losing and losing badly,”
he admitted.
“We left the stadium that night feeling sick at our
It is not the easiest thing to rebuild ones confidence from
that sort of
hiding,” added O’Sullivan, who only the week before had seen his
side push
Australia all the way in their pool match ending up losing 17-16.

Inspirational centre and newly-appointed full-time skipper Brian

concurred with his coach and said they would seek to rectify the
they had left on the international stage when they meet in Paris on
Valentines Day (February 14).

“We have to improve on our defence because in the first-half
of the
quarter-final it was non-existant (they trailed 27-0),” said the
who is racing against time to recover from a hamstring injury.
“To see your World Cup disappear like that and in such a bad
fashion is a
stunning feeling.”

However O’Driscoll says that while the squad have not trained
since the French match, they have had a couple of get togethers to
talk things

“We have thought of a couple of things to hurt France
with,” said
O’Driscoll, who Ireland will need fully fit to really stand any
chance of
beating the French and keeping alive their hopes of winning the Grand

O’Sullivan’s main concern is that aside from O’Driscoll, who burst
onto the
international scene with a hat-trick of tries against France in 2000
Ireland ended a 28-year losing streak in Paris, he has a growing
injury 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 backs
as other
absentees, certainly for the France match, are winger Denis Hickie
second equal with O’Driscoll on the all-time tryscorers list with 21)
exciting fullback Geordan Murphy, while veteran flankers Alan Quinlan
and Eric
are also out.

“This is the problem a lot of sides are going to face with no
break between
the World Cup and the domestic season,” said O’Sullivan.
O’Sullivan, though, still believes that Ireland can have a
tournament but tried to play down fans’ expectations of the Grand

“England have been the best side in the world for the past
five years and
it took them that amount of time to achieve the Grand Slam … that
is how
hard it is to win it,” he said.