Rugby

Brian O'Driscoll Thrilled With Progress Ireland Are Making In One Area Of Their Game

Brian O'Driscoll Thrilled With Progress Ireland Are Making In One Area Of Their Game

Ireland got the job done against Italy in their Six Nations a return, and have kept their hopes of a title very much alive in the process. A win in Paris next Saturday will most likely see it come down to score difference with England, while a bonus point victory over France will guarantee Ireland the championship.

But next week is another story, and in terms of today's victory, Brian O'Driscoll was very happy with what he saw. He was part of the ITV analysis team for their live coverage, and speaking after the final whistle, O'Driscoll summed up his thoughts, saying "Lots of really good stuff from Ireland over the course of the 80 minutes, with a bit to improve on as well. Almost the perfect scenario for a coach."

With score difference vitally important, Ireland ran rampant, notching up 50 points — albeit they won't be happy with Italy's try at the death. O'Driscoll took positives from that however, appreciating the fact that they were trying to keep the game alive in the hope of getting one last score, while he also praised Ireland's persistence overall:

"I think you've to remember that you have to soften teams up. No one rolls over, no international teams rolls over after 40 or 50 minutes. That tends to only come in the last 10 or 15 minutes, and they got into their groove a little bit.

"[That's] when you become collision winners, then the angles of run get a little bit easier; you get soft shoulders, and that's when the offloads open up."

While analysing some of Ireland's tries, O'Driscoll felt we are starting to see a bit more evidence of the attacking approach Andy Farrell is trying implement.

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I got much more of an idea of the sort of shape that they're looking for. Hugo Keenan mightn't have been on the scoresheet in the second half but I thought he had some really lovely touches, keeping the ball alive. CJ Stander probably offloaded more times in this game than we've seen for a couple of seasons, which is a real improvement on where this team wants to go.

Ireland have never ordinarily been an offloading team but it just makes life an awful lot easier - you don't have to go through 20 phases when you offload and change the point of contact. That one from Peter O'Mahony — that is absolutely sumptuous.

He added: "I think if you look over the course of the seven tries, they scored a multitude of different ways, and I think that will be a hugely pleasing aspect for the coach."

Rory Best was also in studio for ITV, and he was particularly impressed by debutant - and man of the match - Will Connors: "With Will Connors they have a real momentum stopper. He just chops and he stops the opposition momentum. And he actually gives people around him opportunities to get on the jackal and make their turnovers."

See Also: Here Are The Six Nations Permutations Heading Into Final Round Of Games

Mark Farrelly
Article written by
Balls Media Audience Development Manager. Former Miss World 1997 contestant.

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