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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 November, 2003, 10:39 GMT
I'm happy with my game

By Brian O'Driscoll
Ireland centre

Melbourne was a mad place to be last weekend but fortunately it has quietened down a bit since our game with Australia.

We have been trying to get back to the usual routine after a couple of relaxing days off.

It was essential we rested up this week rather than do too much hard work because the Aussie game took a fair bit out of us.

Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll in action against Australia
O'Driscoll hopes to provide France with their first major worry

Having said that, I didn't find it the most taxing game I have played in. I was more sore after the match against Argentina the week before.

But I have recovered quite well and am looking forward to having a crack at the French.

Some commentators over here said I was having a quiet tournament but I have still been pleased with the way I have been performing.

I didn't feel as if I had been doing much wrong, even if not a lot had come off for me before the Australia game.

You will always get applauded if you get on the scoresheet and it was obviously nice to get over the line.

But just because you score a try and a drop goal in any game doesn't mean you have played well.

I have been happy with what I have been doing in all the basic aspects of my play throughout the tournament, which is the most important thing.

If people don't see that, it shows how little they know about rugby really.

We were all disappointed at losing the match but that was nothing compared to what happened to Denis Hickie.

It is important we get in their faces as quickly as possible and don't let them hit their stride

It was terrible to see such a good friend getting a serious injury like that, and then seeing him go home so quickly.

You never want to be in that position but these sort of setbacks happen. You have to put sentiment aside and get on with things pretty quickly.

This squad all have the will to get Ireland to a first World Cup semi-final and we know we can beat France.

We have done it several times over the past few years but we are playing on neutral ground over here and that makes this a very different occasion.

We are aware of how capable the French are of taking teams apart when they get going and they have been playing some good quality rugby in the pool stages.

They are clearly on form, but they haven't had any major worries yet and hopefully we will provide them with their first really tough game.

It is important we get in their faces as quickly as possible and don't let them hit their stride.

They are confident and will be expecting to progress, but you can be sure we will be giving them a real rough ride.





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