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banner Saturday, 30 June, 2001, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Waiting on Wallaby retribution
Brian O'Driscoll
BBC Sport Online columnist Brian O'Driscoll did not take long to come back down to earth after the Lions struck a devastating blow to the Wallabies in the Test series.

What a game, what an atmosphere, and what a victory.

Great, wasn't it? However, it has not taken long for me to come back down from the stratosphere. My feet were firmly planted on the ground hours after the game.

We went for a walk around Brisbane to have a few quiet drinks. But you could sense the atmosphere everywhere.

The place was really jumping, the city was still alive hours after the game.


It was tough, very tough, and I know that I will wake up tomorrow morning extremely sore
  Brian O'Driscoll
In the end, that is what it is - a game. I can look back now at the pressure - there was plenty of that when we were ready to run out on the pitch.

But in reality you just have to concentrate and go out and play. People are inclined to look too much into it, and there is absolutely no need for some of the hype.

It is a game, and we won it, and won it well. End of story.

Everyone was expecting a very physical game, but Test players do not really think about going over the top.

At that level, players just cannot think of little niggly and personal battles. You just get on with it and that is what both teams did. I thought some of the rugby played was tremendous.

Defensive mode

Don't get me wrong, it was tough, very tough, and I know that I will wake up tomorrow morning extremely sore. That will give me a clear idea of how hard it really was.

We did lose it a bit in the second half, but did enough in a tremendous first half to balance it all up.

Those last 20 minutes were quite tense. It was all about defending. There was always going to be parts of the game when we get more ball than others.

In that case it is just a case of switching into defensive mode.

That is exactly what we did against the Wallabies, and it worked. We had to make sure we made our tackles - and again, we did.


Henderson: Proving he is a class act

The atmopshere in the stadium was incredible. It was static electricity the whole way.

To be honest I could not believe the support we got. We really could not have asked for more.

Every move we made, you could hear the Lions supporters' roar getting behind us. Absoutely phenomenal and could not have asked for more.

In situations like this you need every bit of help you can get, and without a doubt the crowd helped us along.

But hold on, we are only halfway to our goal. Australia are now going to come back in Melbourne with retribution in mind.

They do not like being beaten, and to be beaten in the way they were, their backs are going to be up for the next Test.

They will come back at us and attempt to give us a real going over. But I dare say we will be ready for them.

Class player

And what about my Hendo. Didn't he do well?

I just do not know how many more surprises he has up his sleeve for us. He has just amazed everyone on tour.

Mind you, he does not surprise me when he goes out and does the business.

Let us face it he is just a class player. I just do not know why people doubted him - he is a quality player, playing in peak form. What more can you say.

I think we had a little more space to move in midfield than expected.

It is hard to say, but I suspect they stood off Hendo and me a bit. At least the holes looked a little bigger in midfield.

However, I would put that down to our forwards. They were magnificent in keeping the Wallabies on the back foot.


He is simply a try machine at present, and that is absolutely wonderful for us
  Brian O'Driscoll
When that happens, it makes defences more unsure of themselves and helps the attacking backs to move at pace going forward.

As for my try, I just went for it a space that appeared for a split second. I could so easily have been swallowed up, but I found myself free and away I went. It was a great feeling to run in at the posts.

But I suppose there was an element of luck involved as well. But you need that.

Jason Robinson did not need any luck for his try. He's very hot at present and having a fantastic tour.

He is simply a try machine at present, and that is absolutely wonderful for us.

But the job is only half done. There's a bit more do yet.

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See also:

23 Jun 01 |  Player views
No need for bully-boy tactics
17 Jun 01 |  Lions Down Under
Wilkinson is just sheer class
11 Jun 01 |  Lions Down Under
Now for the real thing
06 Jun 01 |  Lions Down Under
O'Driscoll's new challenge
27 Apr 01 |  Lions Down Under
O'Driscoll: 'Beware the hype'
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