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O'Driscoll happy with Irish form

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll insists his side's form is not far removed from that which saw them claim a first Grand Slam in 61 years just two seasons ago.

Ireland visit the Millennium Stadium on Saturday looking to keep their hopes of an RBS 6 Nations title win and a Triple Crown success alive against Wales in Cardiff. The visitors have lost just once in the Welsh capital since 1983 but they have come in for plenty of criticism despite winning two of their three games thus far in the competition.

"Things have been pretty marginal, as is the way in Test matches," said O'Driscoll. "We are results driven and people talk about how you have done on the back of the success you have had. Both sides have lost just once so far, which is far from catastrophic."

He added: "But because of the high standards in Wales and Ireland people are aiming for the ultimate and to chase Slams having both achieved them in the last few years.

"We are not a million miles away from where we were a couple of years ago, but we have a little way to go."

Ireland's discipline has come under scrutiny, not least from Wales coach Warren Gatland, this week, although their opponents have conceded more penalties and free-kicks than them this season.

Leinster centre O'Driscoll believes Declan Kidney's side will improve in that area as they look to keep themselves in the title mix, but insists they are taking just one game at a time with a fifth Triple Crown in eight seasons available to them following their win over Scotland two weeks ago.

"All we can do is try and win our last two games," he said. "Points difference has no bearing with a game this weekend and next.

"But we can still chase silverware in the form of a Triple Crown, and the second part is this weekend, so there is no point worrying about the third part or you will slip up in the second part.

"We have to be more consistent over 80 minutes, Tests will always be close but it's about trying to be more commanding in our own play and trying to keep hold of the ball, and trying to be a bit better when we don't."


From Belfast Telegraph