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Saturday, 9 November, 2002, 18:15 GMT
O'Driscoll: This win was coming
Brian O'Driscoll celebrates with Shane Horgan and Denis Hickie
O'Driscoll celebrates with Horgan and Hickie
New captain Brian O'Driscoll reflected on Ireland's gritty 18-9 win over world champions Australia and claimed: "This victory has been coming for some time".

The 23-year-old Irish skipper said the team had "slipped up" in encounters against the southern hemisphere big guns in recent years.

"Against South Africa two years ago, New Zealand last year and again in New Zealand in the summer, we let things slip away in the last 10 or 15 minutes," said O'Driscoll.

"But this week, we just decided to have belief in ourselves.

"We spoke a huge amount about finishing the game off. Thankfully, we did that this afternoon".

O'Driscoll acknowledged that the five minutes of injury-time played by New Zealand referee Steve Walsh had been "agonising".


Everyone showed great resolve to fight off any doubts
Brian O'Driscoll

"But everyone showed great resolve to fight off any doubts that they may have had".

O'Driscoll agreed that the victory was a "big breakthrough" for Irish rugby.

"But we have to go out next week (against Fiji) and the following week (against Argentina) and win both of those games.

"Having said that, getting this scalp before the World Cup, and Australia are in our group, will hopefully put a couple of doubts into their minds come October/November next year," added the captain.

Australia's George Smith attempts to break down an O'Gara kick
Ronan O'Gara: Scored all Ireland's points

Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan said the victory gave the team "a great sense of satisfaction".

"We were really disappointed in Dunedin this year," said O'Sullivan.

"We had New Zealand on the rack but couldn't close the deal.

"Today with 15 minutes to go, we knew we had the world champions in a bit of trouble and it was great that the guys stuck to their job and closed the game out".

The Irish coach said his players had been given "clear roles" before the game.

"The key was whether the players were going to stick to those roles.

"Australia threw everything but the kitchen sink at us in the last 10 or 15 minutes but the boys stuck at it.


Victor Costello carried the ball very well and hit hard in the tackle
Eddie O'Sullivan

"We really made them look like they weren't going to score apart from maybe the odd break.

"They got a couple of breaks but we scrambled well which is part of the game".

O'Sullivan was reluctant to single out individuals but he agreed that Ronan O'Gara had "pulled the strings" for his team.

"Peter Stringer was also getting at their back row which wouldn't have been expected.

"Victor Costello carried the ball very well and hit hard in the tackle.

"Brian O'Driscoll was outstanding, Kevin Maggs also and the front five worked exceptionally hard through the phases".


We weren't good enough
Australian coach Eddie Jones

Australian coach Eddie Jones refused to use the wet conditions as an excuse for his team's defeat.

"Our skill levels let us down," he said.

"In those conditions you need a high degree of skill, and we didn't come up to the mark.

"In Super 12 we play on a flat track, we play with the ball on the deck, and in the Tri-Nations it tends to be the same.

"We play our best rugby in those conditions.

"To me this was a typical Irish encounter.

Match report

"You don't come to Lansdowne Road and expect to play with 15 degrees and sun on your back.

"We weren't good enough, there's no excuse from the conditions," added Jones.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll
"We decided to have belief in ourselves this week"
 NOV 9 INTERNATIONALS
 ENG V NZ
 IRE V AUS
 WALES V FIJI
 SCOT V ROM
 FRANCE V SA

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