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Page last updated at 19:08 GMT, Sunday, 15 November 2009

O'Driscoll praises Irish attitude


We had to chase the game - O'Driscoll

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll said he was happy his side had the "bottle" to battle back and earn a 20-20 draw with Australia at Croke Park on Sunday.

The home side trailed by seven points in the dying moments before O'Driscoll went over under the posts.

Ronan O'Gara converted with the last kick of the match to level the scores.

"We left a lot of good opportunities out there, and big improvements can be made, but there were pleasing aspects from the game," said O'Driscoll.

"We hung on until the death when things weren't going brilliantly for us and that is the mark of a good side.

Brian O'Driscoll

O'Driscoll crosses for last-gasp try

"We gifted them an early try and had to battle our way back into the game. That was down to a bit of miscommunication between me and Ronan (O'Gara) and it gave them a headstart.

"We had to play catch-up and that makes it difficult against a good side like Australia.

"We struggled in the ruck area and we will have to look at that ahead of the Fiji game but given that we hadn't played together for six months, it's difficult to get going again and just pick up where we left off.

"We will get better with each game that we play. I'm pleased we were rewarded for showing the bottle to stick with them until the death and grind out a draw."

Ireland coach Declan Kidney said that he was "delighted with how his side stuck at it".

Elsom blames late lapses in Ireland draw

He added: "We showed good attitude in abundance and did well to earn a draw from a game where we gave up a lot of field position and possession.

"Cian Healy did well on his debut but Luke Fitzgerald took a bang on his knee and it will be 24 to 48 hours before we are able to fully assess his situation before the Fiji game."

Australian skipper Rocky Elsom was disappointed to concede the late try which cost his side victory and the chance of a successful grand slam tour of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

"If we had defended that last phase, we would have deserved to win, but who would have thought in his 100th game Brian would come up with the goods?" said Elsom.

"I thought we could have stopped that last play but they executed it really well."

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see also
Ireland 20-20 Australia
15 Nov 09 |  Irish
Ireland v Australia as it happened
15 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Prop Healy wins first Ireland cap
11 Nov 09 |  Irish
Hayes ban reduced to five weeks
13 Oct 09 |  Rugby Union
Horan out of Ireland autumn games
06 Nov 09 |  Irish
Henry called into Ireland squad
27 Oct 09 |  Rugby Union

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