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O’Gara Impressed By New Gameplan

O’Gara Impressed By New Gameplan

Ronan O’Gara could see this coming. He showed nerves of steel during Saturday’s high octane encounter with France and was also nerveless in the build-up as, having been impressed by Declan Kidney’s blueprint for success, he knew exactlywhat Ireland were capable of achieving.

“I think it (the confidence) built from Tuesday onwards. I don’t think that happens on the morning of games, I think you get a feeling throughout the week on how the team’s going to play,” Ronan O’Gara told IrishRugby.ie.

“I remember sitting with Donncha (O’Callaghan) this morning, in our room, and he asked me was I nervous, and I said no I wasn’t, I was looking forward to it.

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“And that would be rare because I haven’t beaten France in I don’t know how many years. There was great composure throughout the team.

“At 20-10 up, I think everyone felt we would kick on and have a field day against them. But they showed what they are made of and came back at us.”

Ireland came under some criticism during the GUINNESS Series for only scoring one try between their Tests against New Zealand and Argentina but their attacking verve was back on Saturday with Jamie Heaslip, Brian O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy each claiming a memorable score.

O’Gara had a hand in setting up those much-replayed efforts from Heaslip and O’Driscoll and the out-half also chipped in with 15 points from kicks, including a late penalty goal which copperfastened the win at 30-21.

The Corkman said that the gameplan Ireland played to was a refreshing one and one which the players seemed to adapt to quickly.

“I don’t think we ever doubted ourselves – not that many of us have done that in the past – but when you’re living the moment and playing out there, you have to make decisions on the run and in general, we thought our way through the game quite well.

“I was really impressed with the gameplan the coaches gave us. It’s a new gameplan and we’ve only had it for four days, essentially, at full-out pace to do it. 

“And I’d like to think we’ll have big improvements as a result of today.”

Asked about some of the specifics of the gameplan, O’Gara said that it gave the players more of an attacking licence, more direction and that they will hopefully continue to play to this high standard as the Championship progresses.

“From knowing Deccie as long as I do, he always trusts players to make right judgements,” he explained.

“I think, as an out-half, the big thing I look for is to give direction to the forwards and I felt we had really worked on that.

“With the killer instinct we have in the backs, I felt when it was right to strike we struck. And you saw the damage we did today.

“So it’s about being selective about when you release the power outside the 10. The good thing about this team now is that a lot of fellas are believing in this team and adding their ideas to it and I’d like to think today is a good starting point.”