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Page last updated at 21:49 GMT, Saturday, 14 March 2009

O'Driscoll plays down Slam hype

O'Driscoll 'happy but sore' after win

Brian O'Driscoll insists Ireland are used to the pressure they will face next week when they aim to beat Wales and win a first Grand Slam in 61 years.

"There has been so much pressure with each week," the Irish captain told BBC Sport after the 22-15 win in Scotland.

"People were talking about a Grand Slam after the first game with France so nothing's changed in that respect.

"Now we can look forward to Cardiff. We know we will get a really tough, physical encounter there as always."

While coach Declan Kidney still refused to discuss the prospect of a clean sweep after the victory at Murrayfield, full-back Rob Kearney was happy to contemplate emulating the only Irish side to achieve the feat, in 1948.

"The last few weeks there has been no mention of Grand Slams," he said.

We have come a long way in a short space of time under Declan

Ronan O'Gara
"It has sort of been banned. But now it is finally in our sights and next week is like a cup final for us. It is all or nothing really. "

Ireland could lose in Cardiff by less than 13 points and still win a first Six Nations title, although France also still remain in contention.

With a seven-point victory in Edinburgh they stretched their points advantage over Wales - who only won 20-15 in Italy - from 23 to 25, after overcoming a 12-9 half-time deficit.

"I told the players at half-time that we were helping to keep Scotland in the game by giving away field position and penalties," said Kidney.

"We were making it difficult for ourselves but it was much better in the second half.

"It was not overly pretty but we are delighted because it is difficult to come here."

Fly-half Ronan O'Gara returned to form to kick 17 points including a drop-goal, overtaking Jonny Wilkinson as the record points scorer in the RBS Six Nations in the process.

"I felt awful after the England match [when he missed four kicks out of six]and those two weeks before this game were a long wait," said O'Gara.

"I have had bad days before but I keep coming back and that is the most important thing I think.

"The performance was very average but it is all about next week now. We have come a long way in a short space of time under Declan and there is a good mood in the camp."

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see also
Hadden rues a wasted opportunity
14 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Scotland v Ireland match stats
31 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union
Scotland v Ireland photos
14 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Scotland 15-22 Ireland
14 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Ireland 14-13 England
28 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Italy 9-38 Ireland
15 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Ireland 30-21 France
07 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union

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