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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 October, 2003, 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK
Wet and wild in Sydney

By Brian O'Driscoll
Ireland centre

The weather guys were certainly not on our side again. In fact they are proving to be a bit of a pain in Australia.

Brian O'Driscoll take on the Namibia defence
"The ball was like a bar of soap"

The conditions for Sunday's game against Namibia were absolutely atrocious.

They said that we would have a good, dry day and we were promised a really hard track.

In fact we were told that conditions would be perfect for running rugby.

You must be joking!

I personally have never played in worse conditions.

It was not the most ideal preparation before next week's crunch game against Argentina, but we have to deal with what is thrown at us.

If we had had better weather we would have taken them apart, but I suppose any team that scored 10 tries and racked up 64 points in those conditions would be happy.

Things were a little tedious I have to admit. We were frustrated at the amount of knock-ons and silly mistakes.

I don't honestly think anybody realises just how bad the conditions were out there - the ball was like a bar of soap and I have never played with one that greasy before.

I watched England closely and I have to say I thought they were again awesome

I really thought our skill levels out there were not too bad, taking everything into consideration.

Thankfully there are no injuries. Conditions like that could easily lead to a lot of knocks.

Taking Fester (Keith Wood) and the Bull (John Hayes) off was a good move because next week is going to be a huge game for us.

It's the big one really. We have been building up for this one for about a year now, as it could decide our fate in the World Cup, and beyond.

I suppose it was the same for England when they faced South Africa on Saturday.

I watched them closely, and I have to say I thought they were again awesome.

Irish centre Kevin Maggs dives after the ball
Conditions were perfect for diving

People are saying the Springboks could have taken them, but I'm afraid that's not the case because England are just so powerful.

They are devastating in the last half hour. They just wait and continually grind you down.

It's as if they don't play for the first 50 or 60 minutes, then they just walk all over you.

Take it from me, they are going to be a very tough team to beat.

Having said that, I believe the Springboks will give the All Blacks a good game in the quarter-finals.

I don't think the All Blacks have been in great form at all.

I know it's sometimes hard to play against some of the lower teams, but New Zealand just don't seem to have had those quality performances.

All I am worrying about now is that Ireland produce that quality effort against Argentina next Sunday in Adelaide, come rain, hail or snow.





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