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Page last updated at 20:03 GMT, Saturday, 22 November 2008

O'Driscoll praises Irish spirit

Irish players congratulate Tommy Bowe
Jamie Heaslip and Rob Kearney congratulate try-scorer Tommy Bowe

Captain Brian O'Driscoll feels Ireland got their vital 17-3 win over Argentina because they refused to be bullied by their opponents in Dublin.

"We were not going to take a backwards step. When teams come to Croke Park we are not here to be bullied or shoved around," O'Driscoll said.

"We did not initiate too much but if anything was going on then we certainly were not backing down.

"It showed great camaraderie that everyone was there for one another."

O'Driscoll added: "If there were any scuffles then there were always guys there on your shoulder to help out. It was important that we looked after one another.

"It is in our nature to be hard, rugged people and it hurt us a little bit that certain factions of the media said we were pushed around by the All Blacks.

"That hurt our pride and we were not prepared to let it happen today.

"It is always physical against Argentina. I have never played against them and not woken up the next day knowing I have been in a hard-fought game."

Before the match, Argentina had been hit by the late withdrawal of star playmaker Juan Martin Hernandez because of a hamstring problem.

Coach Santiago Phelan said Hernandez had been carrying the injury all week but had hoped to be ready to face Ireland.

"During the warm-up he pulled out - it was impossible for him to kick and we decided not to play him," Phelan said.

"The decision was made half an hour before kick-off. We knew about the injury but we worked hard to get him fit for the game.

"Yesterday he was okay but in the warm up he suffered a twinge."

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see also
Ireland 17-3 Argentina
22 Nov 08 |  Irish
Argentina change five for Ireland
20 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union
Ireland 3-22 New Zealand
15 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union
Ireland 55-0 Canada
08 Nov 08 |  Irish

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