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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 February 2008, 18:57 GMT
O'Sullivan proud of Irish display
Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan
Eddie O'Sullivan watches the action in the closing minutes in Paris
Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan said he felt "mixed emotions" after his side's fightback against France at the Stade de France came up just short.

"I'm very disappointed and a bit sad but at the same time, I'm very proud of the lads," said O'Sullivan after his team's 26-21 Six Nations defeat.

"The players showed incredible guts and determination today.

"A lesser team would have walked away 10 minutes into the second half. They showed tremendous integrity."

O'Sullivan felt his team "probably deserved" to win Saturday's game after their stirring second-half display.

"But you don't always get what you deserve.

"The lads are hugely disappointed now because they realise that but for the bounce of the ball, we might be celebrating a great win now.

BBC Sport's Nabil Hassan

"I can't fault the lads. The try after half-time (Cedric Heymans' score) was a gut-wrenching try (with the bounce of the ball). You can't legislate for that.

"In the first half, they got two tries from turnover ball at rucks.

"But we just kept getting the message in that you hang on to the ball and get through the two phases.

"The score they built up was on the back of our two mistakes in the first half."

O'Sullivan heaped praise on Ireland's "much-maligned" scrummaging which helped to force the penalty-try which got his team back into the game.

"Also the guys we brought in (to the team) today totally justified their selections.

"We also made a couple of tactical substitutions. Mick O'Driscoll came on and steadied up the line out and Rory Best did well when Bernard (Jackman) ran out of gas.

"But I don't want to pick out individuals. They worked very hard as a team."

  • Watch the match in full on BBC iPlayer for seven days from Saturday (UK users only)

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