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O'Driscoll warns against euphoria

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O'Driscoll was not getting carried away after Ireland's win

Brian O'Driscoll warned that Ireland must not get carried away despite a superb 30-21 win over France in their opening Six Nations match on Saturday.

"We are pleased but we are not getting ahead of ourselves," said O'Driscoll, who scored a try in a great display.

"We couldn't have asked for a better start against very tough opposition. And hopefully we can build on that.

"But let's not get carried away, we have won one game. We'll enjoy it for a few hours and then look at Italy."

The Irish captain's try early in the second half helped break French resistance as the home team recovered from a slow start to claim a superb victory.

"We talked about the importance of momentum before the game and we are where we want to be at the minute," added O'Driscoll.

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"You can't win the Six Nations in the first game but you can lose it.

"We ground out a good performance when there was potential for déjà vu from two years ago but the way we won that penalty at the end showed the hunger in the team."

O'Driscoll heaped praise on man-of-the-match and number eight Jamie Heaslip, who sides-stepped his way to the opening Irish try with a surging run.

"That boy has magic feet; I used to be able to turn like that but not any more," O'Driscoll said. "I don't think (Maxime) Medard even got a hand on him.

"It was brilliantly taken and a very well-worked team try.

Kidney pleased by Irish performance

"All the tries were very pleasing but the general performance and the attitude was what won it for us."

O'Driscoll's captaincy was questioned in some quarters prior to the Six Nations but the Lions centre played down the issue, as well as his individual contribution to Saturday's victory.

"You don't answer questions in one game. Maybe I have helped my cause a little bit.

"So much is made of the captaincy but there was incredible leadership throughout the team.

"It's not about what you say in the dressing room beforehand."

Coach Declan Kidney was able to celebrate ending a seven-game losing run against the French in his first Six Nations game in charge.

"Our defence was top class," said Kidney. "Our forwards were immense.

Someone asked me on Saturday morning was I nervous, and I replied 'no' which is rare

Fly-half Ronan O'Gara
"The French were a joy to watch. We had to be sharp to close them down and they just weren't going to get over our line.

"I am just delighted for the players. It's not about me. Someone has to be in the hotseat. Things went our way and some things did not go France's way."

Fly-half Ronan O'Gara, who kicked 15 points to move within four of the 900 mark in Test rugby, said Ireland "had the killer instinct in the backs".

"You could see the damage we did. It is a good starting point," he added.

"I just had a feeling throughout the week that something in the camp was different. Someone asked me on Saturday morning was I nervous, and I replied 'no' which is rare.

"I thought when we went 20-10 up that we would kick on but they came back at us. However, our new style game plan suited us."

Lock Donncha O'Callaghan believes the Irish no longer have anything to fear from the better resourced nations, such as France, and the victory over Les Bleus will add further momentum to their championship bid.

"Sometimes I don't like playing us down because we don't fear these teams any more," he said.

"Sometimes you can pay too much lip service to them and granted they have more players to select from, but we shouldn't play down to that.

"This win puts us in a great position in the Six Nations, even if we have played just one game.

"Winning's a habit and hopefully we can keep it going throughout the championship."

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see also
Ireland v France match stats
31 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union
Ireland v France photos
07 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations as it happened
07 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Ireland 30-21 France
07 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Review - 2008 Six Nations season
02 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union


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