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Return Of Cutting Edge Pleases O’Driscoll

Return Of Cutting Edge Pleases O’Driscoll

Ireland’s five-try haul against Scotland boosted their tally for the 2008 Six Nations to eight tries in three games and captain Brian O’Driscoll feels the team is getting back to their attacking best.

Not only did Ireland’s counter-attacking class enthuse O’Driscoll, but he also took confidence from the fact that his side kept Scotland scoreless during a torrid first quarter.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, the 82-times capped centre said: “We knew that Scotland were going to come out and be physical and play the way, certainly the way they played in the warm-up game before the World Cup.

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“They tried to thrive on physicality, getting over the gain-line and using their big runners to make busts…edge forward and go through an awful lot of phases.

“They did that for the first ten minutes and it was very hard to contain them. When they keep it that tight, it just becomes a power game and a collision game.

“They managed, probably for the first ten minutes, to get the upper hand until they got to our try line and that’s when we dug in and managed to keep them out. It’s a hell of a lot harder to defend than to attack,” he added.

“To hold out the way we did in the first ten minutes gave us a lot of confidence so as to when we did get our opportunities to score and show that clinical nature, that was a big thing for us. We showed some real cutting edge which was very pleasing.”

O’Driscoll had a vital role in setting up his Leinster colleague Rob Kearney’s first try in an Ireland jersey, a score that sent the hosts into a 14-3 lead.

Asked about the recent changes, injury-enforced and otherwise, to the Irish back-line, the 29-year-old explained: “When you change back-lines and change partnerships, you’re on a learning curve still and getting to know one another and getting to know each other’s games.

“It’s probably more specific to partnerships like Reddser (Eoin Reddan) and Rog (Ronan O’Gara), myself and Trims (Andrew Trimble) and then the back-three. I suppose all of us coming together and gelling as a unit as well.

“We’re far from being the finished article, we’re a work in progression. Today we showed some great parts but there’s room for improvement still. So we’re pleased but we’re not losing the run of ourselves.”

There has been some doubt about O’Driscoll’s participation in the Scottish game during the week when he suffered a calf strain in training. So how was he feeling after his 70-minute run-out against the Scots?

“The calf is good. I was a little bit worried during the week when it tightened up,” said the captain, who was replaced in the closing stages by Shane Horgan.

“Great credit to our physio Brian Green who worked hard for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We did a hell of a lot of work – I’ve never spent so much time on a physio table.

“Sometimes these guys don’t get the plaudits they deserve so I owe him a lot for getting me on the pitch (today).”