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  Sunday, 10 November, 2002, 15:10 GMT
O'Driscoll savours success
Brian O'Driscoll celebrates Ireland's 18-9 win

What a week, what a day, what a result!

It is hard to take it all in. Captaining your country for the first time is one thing, but beating the world champions is something else.

I had to pinch myself to make sure it was all real. But it is real and what a feeling.

Naturally I felt a little under pressure, it would be silly of me not to admit that.

I had to talk a lot more during the week.

If nothing was being said during the build-up, I had to make that conscious effort to say something positive. Sometimes that is not easy.

At the end of it all I am absolutely shattered. I have never been as tired after a game in my life.

It certainly was a dream start that I got as captain.

Having said that, Keith Wood will probably be back for the Argentine game, and I will gladly hand over the reins to him.

But it was a magnificent experience. The scenes at the end were simply incredible.

At the end of the game, I was happy to go inside and celebrate with the boys and have our hugs and kisses in the changing rooms.

But I was only following orders in doing that lap of celebration and to say that we were greeted quite well was an understatement.

Brian O'Driscoll was captaining Ireland for the first time
Brian O'Driscoll celebrates victory

I am glad we did go around the pitch I really enjoyed the moment. It is not everyday you get to do that after a game.

Everybody appeared to be spellbound as no one ran onto the pitch and the players were able to celebrate as a team which was good.

While it was a big game for the team as a whole there were some great individual performances.

I was particularly delighted for big Victor Costello. He is probably Ireland's most under-rated player.

We realise it was a great win for us but it is not the finish. It is something to build on rather than the be all and end all.

It would be rude of me not to mention the work of Mike Ford our defensive coach.

Mike probably has had some bad press since his arrived from rugby league people saying whether it was worth while having a specialist in that area.

Match report

But I have to say if it never shows again, Saturday's game was the litmus test of how important it is have someone of Mike's calibre there and being able to work things around.

Before Mike came we were defending as individuals, but now we have a structure and are defending as a team.

If you do not concede any tries to the Australians we must be doing something right.

Argentina will be a big test, as like Australia they are in our World Cup group.

Fiji will present different problems so we will just have to take them on, and see what happens next Sunday.

I'll be taking a break next week, and in the meantime, I'll just keep on floating on the wave of excitement after Saturday's result.

 NOV 9 INTERNATIONALS
 ENG V NZ
 IRE V AUS
 WALES V FIJI
 SCOT V ROM
 FRANCE V SA

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