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Page last updated at 15:13 GMT, Sunday, 22 March 2009

O'Connell hits out at Gatland ego

Ireland lock Paul O'Connell
Paul O'Connell was instrumental in Ireland's first Grand Slam for 61 years

Paul O'Connell has advised Wales coach Warren Gatland to keep his ego in check after comparing him to Jose Mourinho.

The Kiwi had questioned Ireland's ability to handle pressure prior to the Irish side's Grand Slam win in Cardiff.

"Jose Mourinho used to do it a lot with Chelsea, taking the pressure off his players," said the Munster lock.

"You need a big ego to do that which he (Gatland) seems to have from his recent success as a coach. Perhaps he needs to get his feet back on the ground now."

Gatland taunted Ireland during the build-up to the Millennium Stadium RBS Six Nations title decider which Wales lost 17-15.

He also stated that "out of all the teams in the Six Nations, the Welsh players dislike the Irish most".

I got my head down at half-time to figure out how I could make an impact and things worked out

Ireland fly-half Ronan O'Gara

When asked to name the core values of his Ireland side, O'Connell responded: "Honesty and integrity - big Irish things - and being humble as well.

"A lot of the stuff that came from Warren Gatland's side this week, you wouldn't see an Irish coach doing that, or an Irish person doing that.

"We were very honest in everything we did and that's a big part of our trait, a big part of Munster and a big part of Ireland as well.

"Did the good guys win in the end? I don't know about that. But we won and we're happy."

O'Connell added that the Grand Slam success had made up for "a lot of heartache in the last seven years with Ireland - a lot of close calls".

"There was the disappointment of the last World Cup and the disappointment of the last Six Nations after that.

"It's just great to put that behind us. Had Jones scored we would have come back next year - you have to - but it would have been a big, big blow.

"In the last three games we didn't play fabulously well. We have just been clever in what we've done and gone about winning games."

Video - O'Gara drop goal seals Grand Slam

Meanwhile Ronan O'Gara, who kicked the winning drop-goal on Saturday, said his performance proved he can handle pressure on the big occasion.

"There will always be people who crack under pressure but I won two European Cup finals under pressure," he said.

"None of the Welsh fellas who were talking have played in European Cup finals.

"They talked the talk all week but didn't walk it so I'm particularly happy about that.

"I had a few errors in the first-half. I screwed one or two kicks over and took some banter but you expect that.

"I got my head down at half-time to figure out how I could make an impact and things worked out. I enjoyed the second half."

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