Brian O’Driscoll – “This English Team Showed The World The Blueprint Of How To Beat Ireland”

Achilles heel.

Brian O’Driscoll reckons England showed the world yesterday how to beat Ireland – beat them upfront with and without the ball and completely dominate them at set-piece time.

And Eddie Jones’ side did exactly that yesterday afternoon in a 24-12 win with Ireland’s scrum, in particular, taking a battering from the English, an area that is normally so strong for the men in green.

“Ireland had looked like the team in better form coming into it,” O’Driscoll told ITV after the game.

“It just shows how difficult it is to win away from home, to come to Twickenham; we might have won a few in the past but we’ve had some big beatings here as well and you have to be mindful of that.

“This English team showed the world the blueprint of how to beat Ireland. It’s about out-muscling them, beating them up upfront, without the ball or without it, [and] dominating them in the set-piece.

O’Driscoll added that Ireland generally tend to struggle against “the bigger sides”.

“That’s Ireland’s Achilles heel. When New Zealand, when South Africa, when France and England, when those big sides come at them, they just don’t have the answers. Even during their successful period of five or six years under Joe Schmidt, when they came up against the bigger sides, that’s where we struggled.

“We’re just going to have to take that one. That’s a tough one. You don’t have answers immediately. I’m not surprised Andy Farrell looked unsure because I’m sitting in the studio thinking, ‘Where do we piece this together?”

Two of England’s tries came from needless errors with Johnny Sexton and Jacob Stockdale gifting scores to George Ford and Elliot Daly. But O’Driscoll said they will learn from their mistakes.

“They absolutely exposed guys that maybe aren’t used to covering every blade of grass that is expected of them,” O’Driscoll added.

“Jacob Stockdale, he’ll learn from that as well, he’s got to get closer to the ball, own the space and not allow Elliot Daly come through.

“There’s going to be a huge disappointment for this Irish team. There was a Triple Crown on the line and they were playing one of the best teams in the world.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to lick your wounds and get on with it, park the negatives and look at what you’ve done well in the first two games, what you can take out of this and bounce back with a big performance against Italy.”