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Brian O'Driscoll says Ireland proved a point in Dublin

Ireland too 'intense' for England - Brian O'Driscoll

Ireland skipper Brian O'Driscoll said his side had proved that they had "not become a bad side overnight" by beating England convincingly 24-8 in Dublin.

"We knew we had a performance like that in us but for some reason we had not put it together in our four previous matches," said the Irish captain.

"We were very good - we played a smart game, an intense game and they couldn't live with us.

"To score 24 points was very satisfying and a nice way to end the Six Nations."

"There were a few things that needed changing and some of the senior players said some powerful things during the week in the run-up to this match.

Kidney heaps praise on Irish players

"We felt we hadn't set down a marker at the Aviva Stadium and we needed a reason to call it home again.

"There's no better way to do that than by beating England and it's a nice moment."

O'Driscoll, who became the leading all-time try-scorer in Six Nations history, added that the Irish were "fortunate to have two fantastic fly-halves".

"Jonathan (Sexton) showed huge character and Ronan O'Gara came on and finished the job - we will savour the moment and a great victory."

Ireland coach Declan Kidney added that he was "delighted for his players who put their hearts on their sleeves and their bodies on the line".

"We believed in ourselves and had the courage to go for things even though they maybe hadn't all come off for us in recent weeks.

Sexton happy to justify selection

"This week the passes all went our way and it just goes to show how the margins are so slim.

"We kept backing ourselves and believing in our own ability.

"We wanted to look forward, not back, and the boys put in a great display through sheer hard work.

"Our defence was superb and the boys were buoyed on by a very special atmosphere inside the stadium.

"We will sit down and assess the last five games, stay professional and look at the things we can do better."

Man-of-the-match Sexton spoke of a "brilliant day for everyone involved".

"We desperately wanted to finish on a high. We've set a standard now and we hope to continue that to the World Cup," added Sexton.

"We said when we were losing we weren't that far away from where we wanted to be.

"We knew what we were doing wrong and we tried to ignore the criticism and we stuck together and got the performance we were looking for today."

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see also
Ireland 24-8 England
19 Mar 11 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations photos
19 Mar 11 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations final day as it happened
19 Mar 11 |  Rugby Union
O'Driscoll out to wreck Slam bid
16 Mar 11 |  Irish
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment

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