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Ireland 46-7 Italy
O'Driscoll wants to make history in Paris
ESPN Staff
March 8, 2014
Brian O'Driscoll is applauded from the field at the full-time whistle © Getty Images
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Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll has called on his team-mates to produce one more game-winning performance when the travel to France next weekend.

In what was O'Driscoll's final match on home soil for Ireland, he played an essential part in their comfortable 46-7 win over Italy. He helped tee up three of Ireland's tries and admitted post-match the emotion of the occasion had finally hit home.

"I couldn't have asked for a better close to playing at home in an Irish jersey," O'Driscoll said. "To score 46 points and only concede one try, it really made the day what it was. I'll remember that for a very long, long time.

O'Driscoll a treat for Irish eyes

  • He may be 35, his body may creak more than usual after a game and he may have lost that yard of pace to make the outside break but his rugby brain is as young and lively as it ever was. If Ireland go on to win the Six Nations next weekend, even the most staunch English or Welsh supporter surely would be able to park national pride for one fleeting moment to raise a glass in honour of him.
  • Everyone has their favourite O'Driscoll moments, some may highlight the hat-trick against Scotland in 2002, the try against Australia for the Lions in 2001 or his role in Ireland's 2009 Grand Slam but the final paragraphs are yet to be written in his story. One way or another, those final etchings will come in Paris next weekend.
  • Read the full verdict here

"I got emotional at the end; it was hard to take it all in. I think maybe when I go back and maybe look over it again, I'll probably get more emotional then. But it was very, very special, if a little embarrassing, but it was still great.

"I feel we have the capability to win there of course, more so now than many of the other times we've gone over there. But we realise just how tough a challenge it is.

"We've won once there in 42 years, one win and one draw. We realise the size of the challenge, but we feel as though when we go well we're a difficult team to contain. So we just have to get ourselves up for one massive performance."

Ireland now have a superior points difference to their nearest challengers and O'Driscoll has labelled next week's game against France a final.

"We had a really good win today, and we've put ourselves in position for a final," O'Driscoll added. "We need certain combinations to happen next week, but at least we're the last team to play and we'll know what we need to do. Hopefully we'll go and win in France - and that will be enough."

And Italy's Jacques Brunel has tipped Ireland to win the tournament. He said: "I think Ireland can win the tournament because they have great continuity in their performance.

"They are showing this over many games, like the All Blacks in November and even against England despite the defeat. From a result point of view, this is our worst performance in my time. But in the first half we showed good defence, and we had some good possession. In the second-half Ireland kept the ball, and our defence wasn't as competitive as in the first half."

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