Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Six Nations: Hot Rog drove us to win, says O’Driscoll

Ronan O'Gara
Ronan O'Gara
Ireland's Jonathon Sexton celebrates winning the RBS 6 Nations match at Murrayfield
Scotland fans Anstead 23 and Liam Tracey 20 before the RBS 6 Nations match at Murrayfield, Edinburgh
A Scotland fan shows his support during the RBS 6 Nations match at Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Ireland's Eoin Reddan scores a try
Ireland's Eoin Reddan scores a try
Scotland 18 Ireland 21
Scotland and Ireland fans before the RBS 6 Nations match at Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Ireland and Scotland fans hold flags before the RBS 6 Nations match at Murrayfield, Edinburgh
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 27: Sean O'Brien of Ireland is tackled by Kelly Brown of Scotland during the RBS 6 Nations Championship match between Scotland and Ireland at Murrayfield on February 27, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 27: Paul O'Connell of Ireland is tackled by Richie Gray of Scotland during the RBS 6 Nations Championship match between Scotland and Ireland at Murrayfield on February 27, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 27: Young Scottish fan is seen outside the stadium before the RBS 6 Nations Championship match between Scotland and Ireland at Murrayfield on February 27, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 27: Young Scottish fan is seen outside the stadium before the RBS 6 Nations Championship match between Scotland and Ireland at Murrayfield on February 27, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Eoin Reddan celebrates his try with Paul O'Connell and Cian Healy
Ronan O'Gara converts Ireland's second try
Ronan O'Gara kicks a penalty
Ireland's Eoin Reddan supported by Paul O'Connell
Ireland's Ronan O'Gara celebrates his try
Ireland's Ronan O'Gara runs in for a try
Ireland's Eoin Reddan celebrates his try with Paul O'Connell and Cian Healy
Ireland's Eoin Reddan celebrates his try
Sean O'Brien of Ireland is tackled by Kelly Brown of Scotland during the RBS 6 Nations Championship match between Scotland and Ireland at Murrayfield
Scotland 18 Ireland 21
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 27: Irish fans are seen outside the stadium before the RBS 6 Nations Championship match between Scotland and Ireland at Murrayfield on February 27, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Ireland's Tommy Bowe is tackled by Scotland's Kelly Brown during the RBS 6 Nations match at Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Ireland's David wallace tackled by Ruaridh Jackson of Scotland
Ireland's Sean O'Brien tackled by Ross Ford of Scotland
Ireland's Sean O'Brien hands off Kelly Brown of Scotland
Ireland's Ronan O'Gara celebrates his try
Ireland's Jonathan Sexton kicks the ball out to win the match
Scotland 18 Ireland 21
Ireland's Paul O'Connell is tackled by Sean Lamont of Scotland
Scotland 18 Ireland 21
Ireland's Cian Healy tackled by Kelly Brown of Scotland

Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll said Ronan O’Gara’s man of the match performance in engineering his side’s 21-18 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield yesterday had come as no surprise.

Leinster ace O’Driscoll’s admiration of the Munster man’s ability shone through at the end of the hard-earned triumph in which O’Gara scored a try and landed three out of three conversions.

And that’s to say nothing of an almost-flawless display of out of hand tactical kicking which kept Ireland going forward and repeatedly asked questions of the Scots.

“ROG steered us around the pitch extremely well,” commented O’Driscoll.

“He kicked to corners very well when needed be and scored a crucial try himself.

“He’s had a very good performance but excuse me for not sounding shocked that he pulled out another big performance in a green jersey.

“It’s what you expect at this level and when Sexto (Jonathan Sexton) came on it’s pretty encouraging when you see the calibre of him coming on to replace someone like ROG — and in the two previous games the flip of that.”

Admitting Ireland had made things tough for themselves O’Driscoll added: “We definitely left another couple of opportunities out there at 21-9 which (had they been taken) would have made life a lot easier for ourselves.

“Again we were close to their line and there was a contentious decision when we were in possession of the ball it was said that we were sealing off.”

Insisting that there had been no panic when Scotland scored three unanswered penalties in the final 22 minutes to close to 21-18 having trailed 21-9, the captain said: “It’s a lot easier, always, to be playing in games than to be watching them because you have a role to play when you’re out there.

“Personally, all I’m concentrating on is making sure that I’m doing my job properly and if everyone is thinking likewise our system will stay in place and we’ll be able to defend and keep them from scoring a try to beat us.

“I don’t think a draw was any good to them (Scotland) — they wanted to go after the win — and as our defence has shown in the past couple of weeks we need to just trust it.

“I we can stop those silly penalties and maybe get another couple of calls (in our favour) I don’t think we’ll be in a bad place.”

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