Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

O'Driscoll: We must play smart

Brian O'Driscoll (second right)

Brian O'Driscoll insists Ireland must learn to rein in their ambition to develop a more balanced game.

So far in the RBS 6 Nations, Declan Kidney's side have struggled to successfully implement the expansive blueprint introduced in November with flashes of brilliance undermined by a high error count. After a frustrating defeat to France, it is essential for ebbing confidence levels that they return to winning ways against Scotland on Sunday.

Ireland captain O'Driscoll said: "Much as we want to play a running game, we must also play smart. If you only play one type of game the opposition do their analysis and you become easy to stop."

He added: "You must have variety, mix it up and constantly keep defences guessing.

"We've probably been guilty of not kicking the ball as much as we could have, but we're on the right road.

"It's a case of tweaking the balance of the game we're trying to play.

"Sometimes you can kick to attack and sometimes you can run out of defence, it's about picking the right options at the right times."

Ireland have endured mixed results over the past year, leading backs coach Alan Gaffney to admit anxiety has crept into their play.

Gaffney also revealed that a lack of on-field communication has become a problem, though O'Driscoll is cautious about overstating the issue.

"The communication levels have seemed as vocal to me as they have been in the past," he said. "You must be careful as you don't want too many talkers. You want the right kind of communication, but not everyone saying their piece. If that happens you end up with too many chiefs and not enough Indians."

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