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Highlights on Off The Ball


'Caelan Doris was absolutely outstanding, he was everywhere' | Brian O'Driscoll

It wasn't just his try, Caelan Doris was everywhere for Ireland against New Zealand. Brian ODriscoll praises him as a key piece of Andy Farrell's pack.

Former Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll joined Monday Night Rugby to discuss Ireland's impressive victory over New Zealand and Caelan Doris.

Ireland beat New Zealand 29-20 on Saturday. James Lowe, Ronan Kelleher and Caelan Doris scored Ireland's tries.

It was the third time they've beaten the All Blacks since 2016.

Brian O'Driscoll never beat New Zealand in his 133 caps for Ireland. And while he has seen Ireland beat New Zealand before as a spectator, O'Driscoll believes that this victory is different. The manner of the victory inspires confidence that this isn't just Ireland's typical peak between World Cups.

There were stars all over he field. The front row, in particular, stands out with Ronan Kelleher excelling and Andrew Porter playing 75 minutes. Tadhg Furlong was Tadhg Furlong. But O'Driscoll reserved special praise for a fellow Leinster forward, Caelan Doris.

Doris has barely featured for Ireland because of concussion problems. When he has played, he has excelled. Andy Farrell puts him straight into the team when healthy. Saturday's performance proved why.

"He was absolutely outstanding," O'Driscoll said.

"Take the try out of it. He was everywhere. He was cleaning up situations and he was clearing out rucks that needed to be won. His ball-handling is brilliant, his work rate. I just thought he was outstanding. He got through so much and again he's another guy you think comparatively to others he's a bit on the lighter side.

"But boy Doris packs a serious punch."

New Zealand hooker Codie Taylor discovered just how strong Doris is on that aforementioned try. He was isolated against the flanker near a ruck in the middle of the field. Doris stepped Taylor but let the defender get a shoulder to his body. It barely slowed him down en route to the goalline.

Doris' explosiveness was always on show when he got the ball.

"It's the way he carries, the way he runs, the intent he has, the desire he has in him, so it was lovely to watch. It's a very, very soft try for New Zealand to concede but great [rugby]. Around the corner again, you talk about the square carry. Watch that angle that he comes back on the inside shoulder.

"Codie Taylor is coming around the corner as he tries to set himself, the momentum is shifted to the outside. And that's when Doris comes off his left foot to run back at that inside shoulder. He gets no collision on him and then he has the wheels to get in.

"He was excellent."

Doris is still just 23 years of age.

Ireland no longer need to rely on Jonathan Sexton


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Brian O'Driscoll Caelan Doris Ireland New Zealand Ireland Rugby