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"Against the All Blacks, I just think the stars are beginning to align" - Brian O'Driscoll

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

06:26 18 Oct 2019


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We're almost there... a crunch clash that could prove historic for Ireland. But can they beat the All Blacks for the third time in four games and reach a first ever Rugby World Cup semi-final?

That's what our panel looked to answer at our latest Rugby World Cup Roadshow in association with Heineken.

Brian O'Driscoll, Keith Wood, Michael Lynagh and Bobby Skinstad and Malcolm O'Kelly were on hand for us to preview the blockbuster quarter-final at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre on Tuesday night.

Brian O'Driscoll explained what Ireland need to do, in his view, to come out on top.

"They need to get almost everything spot on," he said.

"They need to get their set-piece, their line-out functioning phenomenally. We had an armchair ride against Samoa last week and all the stats will have significantly improved. But I think prior to the game, Samoa had contested one in 43 line-outs. So they don't put pods up.

Defence and Discipline

"We're going to have a much tougher day at the office there. But I think defence is everything and discipline is everything. If you don't give away penalties - and I think that's where Nigel Owens comes into play - he doesn't like giving penalties. He likes a little bit of a free-for-all.

"So expect teams, particularly at the ruck, to hold onto it awful lot longer. He wants those games of 45-40, where he doesn't have to blow the whistle very often. He wants to be involved in them and they're great spectacles. So I think it's a good referee for us to get for this fixture. But we have to get absolutely everything right if we're to live with them. Woody said it, if we don't get it right, we could be beaten by 20 or 25. But I fancy that we have a huge performance and it's potentially Joe Schmidt's last job in charge or last game in charge as Irish coach. And against the All Blacks, I just think the stars are beginning to align a small bit. I feel as though it will be super tight and we have a chance."

The full #OTBBGET show is now available across OTB's social channels

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


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All Blacks Bobby Skinstad Brian O'Driscoll Ireland Keith Wood Malcolm O'Kelly Michael Lynagh New Zealand Off The Ball Rugby Rugby World Cup

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