All-Irish final bodes well for NZ tour

Andrew Baldock, NZ Newswire May 21, 2012, 9:02 am

Brian O'Driscoll believes the first all-Irish Heineken Cup final can only have a positive effect on his next big mission - tackling the world champion All Blacks.

Ireland will head to New Zealand for Test matches in Auckland, Christchurch and Hamilton next month.

They have never beaten New Zealand in 24 previous attempts, but Ireland's dominance of the Heineken Cup this season, providing both finalists and an additional quarter-finalist, should at least see them travel in confident mood.

"Having two provinces in the Heineken Cup final is great," Ireland captain O'Driscoll said, after he played a key role in Leinster's 42-14 Twickenham drubbing of Ulster.

"And we have to use that confidence and channel it in the best possible way for the tour down in New Zealand.

"We have one more game to focus on with Leinster, and then we will be in camp and switched on to the job of travelling down there and hopefully getting our first win against New Zealand."

O'Driscoll, despite undergoing minor knee surgery earlier this month, delivered another inspired performance on the big occasion as Leinster cut loose to win their second European title of coach Joe Schmidt's reign.

It was a third Heineken triumph for them in four seasons, while their New Zealand lock Brad Thorn became the first player in rugby history to win a World Cup, Heineken Cup and Super Rugby title.

"We are encouraged to play - that is a philosophy of Joe's," O'Driscoll added.

"He wants us to go out, express ourselves and play a good brand of running rugby. It has been a good fit since he's been here. That is the way the lads want to play."

Asked what drives him on, 33-year-old O'Driscoll said: "Medals and trophies.

"It is about being selfish and wanting more now."

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  1. 04:19pm Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Man , he only said " hopefully getting our first win " . hardly an over the top comment . By the way only 3 of the Leinster starting line up were not Irish . You Kiwis really are one eyed and pretty dumb reading most of the comments on here .

    1 Reply
  2. stephen04:12pm Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Yawn are you going to moan all tour when you get tackled here again and also your local team had heaps of kiwis hmmm

  3. fred04:06pm Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    best to shut up and say nothing i reckon. than can one imagine the head lines if by some far out fluke they do beat the all blacks. not only will the irish be celebrating ,but i for one will be visiting the harbour bridge not on a sightseeing tour either.somehow though i think im safe.

  4. The Misogynist03:54pm Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Similar comment spoken last week when TMITS said the Blues would have a show on their previous game !!Yeah right!!!!!!!

  5. The Misogynist03:48pm Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Oh no, both teams were full of overseas players whom were the outstanding players,so how he thinks that the Irish can beast the All Blacks??????? go figure!!

  6. kneewall03:36pm Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    I fear he may be right. Ireland are at the end of a hard season and working together as a cohesive unit. The allblacks on the other hand will need time to gel as a unit, try out their combinations and to get up to full match fitness. Super Rugby is nothing compared with the demands of international rugby.

  7. Wiseoldman03:33pm Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Dear Brian, why do you say such things, is it to boast your own confidence knowing what lies waiting in NZ for you. You will be tackle bag fodder for our many new young guns wanting to make a statement, and sadly you will be the target, but never mind it will provide you with the next 4 years of bleating material.

  8. Steve03:30pm Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Éirinn go brách

  9. Karen03:21pm Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Oh God, how many years is it now they have been saying this?

  10. pat03:06pm Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    It will be a well contested series. Irish will be smarting for their first win. AB's on something of a rebuild post-RWC and with several of their top line out through injury - Irish will be backing themselves. Brave man though to bet against the AB's at home! I for one am looking forward to it. Two very good teams who play a good style of open rugby. Go the All Blacks!


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