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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 February 2007, 19:50 GMT
Dublin - 24 February, 2007
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Paul O'Connell soars to win a line out
Paul O'Connell produced an outstanding display for Ireland
Man-of-the-match Paul O'Connell said Ireland had "done the occasion justice" in Saturday's 43-13 Six Nations victory over England.

O'Connell said emotions were charged as the Irish team stood for the anthems before the historic Croke Park game.

"We wanted to do the occasion justice," said O'Connell. "Two weeks ago against France we probably didn't, so it was very important we did today.

"It was a pleasure to play out there; very emotional, a brilliant day."

O'Connell downplayed suggestions he had rediscovered top form, after a couple of untypically lukewarm displays to date.

"The harder you work the easier it is to find your top form, but I don't think I did anything special out there today," he added.

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"We played very clever, good rugby. We held on to the ball and put points on the board whether it was penalties or tries.

"The scores kept racking up although we had a bad period at the start of the second half which kind of woke us up and I thought we dominated the rest of the match."

Delighted Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan felt his side had "controlled the game for 70 or 75 minutes".

We got two tries when Danny Grewcock was in the sin-bin and that put them under a lot of pressure

Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan

"I am very happy that we were clinical in difficult conditions," said O'Sullivan.

"We worked very hard on our defence during the week. We knew England would stretch us wide and we got caught once in the second half and we paid a price.

"But other than that we were very comfortable and after the first 15 minutes of shadow boxing, we got into it and from then on we were pretty much in control."

606: DEBATE
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O'Sullivan paid tribute to the performance of his front five.

"They gave our backs a bit of space."

The Ireland coach added that his team had fully exploited Danny Grewcock's sin-binning late in the first half.

"You are always surprised when you win by that many points in a Six Nations game but it's all about momentum.

"The scores we got before half-time came at a crucial time. We got two tries when Danny Grewcock was in the sin-bin and that put them under a lot of pressure.

"But England came here and threw the kitchen sink at us but we managed pretty well to throw it back at them."



SEE ALSO
Ireland 43-13 England
24 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union
Ireland v England match data
24 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union
Clockwatch Ireland v England
24 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union
Ireland v England photos
24 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union


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