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. 09:34am Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    I watched the game, sorry Brian you are delusional. The Irish team are not the same as the Heineken cup finalists, too many SANZAR expats playing in key positions that the Irish just do not have the same calibre of player to replace them with, if they did they would of won the 6Ns.

    3 Replies
  2. Plus 511:25am Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    well if the drains trust of hansen/foster pick weepu/williams/nonu to start.......TABs gotta back the Irish

    1. 12:44pm Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

      ..and you'd be dumb enough to back them ...going to put your money where your stupid mouth is, plonker!??

  3. DocMarten11:32am Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Aye Brian, there is the wee fact that Brad Thorn is not eligible to play for the emerald isle's...

    4 Replies
  4. Jason11:35am Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    I agree with JBees , Yeah 2 teams in the Heineken Cup Final , But how many ex Southern Hemisphere players in the 44 players?

    3 Replies
  5. Richard11:40am Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    The Irish certainly can beat the all blacks.

    1 Reply
  6. ioplenty11:52am Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Yes the Irish can certainly beat us....... in Gaelic football and Hurling . But when it comes to Rugby Union I don't think so.

  7. “ G ”12:00pm Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    consistency is the key to being Irish , they say this prior to every test against the AB's !!! Hahaha . . and i'm Irish . . . good luck to ya Brian !!!! you will need it . . .

  8. Donna maree12:07pm Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    You have to play for eighty minutes Ireland,full of intensity,skill and consistency hmmmm sorry Brian

  9. Ross Elliot12:13pm Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    They can certainly talk a great game. But on the paddock ...

  10. GCSB12:19pm Monday 21st May 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Mmmmmm I don't think so Brian.


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