O'Driscoll calls for Ireland to get smart
Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll believes that Ireland need to find more balance in their attempt to develop an ambitious and expansive style of rugby.
Against Italy and France, Ireland played a running game that was very effective at times, but was spoiled by the vast amount of individual errors that cost Ireland at crucial times in both games.
Many pundits have also criticised the fact that Ireland’s running game has become slightly predictable as their opponents are aware that they are unlikely to kick for territory.
Speaking ahead of the Scotland game this weekend, O’Driscoll highlighted the fact that a lack of variety makes it easier for opposition defences and stressed the need for Ireland to achieve a little more balance in the style of game they are pursuing at present.
“Much as we want to play a running game, we must also play smart,” said O’Driscoll.
“If you only play one type of game the opposition do their analysis and you become easy to stop.
“You must have variety, mix it up and constantly keep defences guessing.
“We've probably been guilty of not kicking the ball as much as we could have, but we're on the right road.
“It's a case of tweaking the balance of the game we're trying to play.
“Sometimes you can kick to attack and sometimes you can run out of defence, it's about picking the right options at the right times.”
The Irish management are perhaps thinking along the same lines as O’Driscoll, as they have introduced Ronan O’Gara to the starting line-up for Sunday’s game, with the Munster out-half making a dramatic intervention off the bench in both Six Nations games so far.
Backs coach Alan Gaffney will be hoping that O’Gara can make a difference, as he believes that the Irish backline has become anxious of late and suggested that communication levels behind the scrum are not what they should be.
O’Driscoll was wary to buy too much into Gaffney’s assessment and always fond of an analogy or two, he said that everyone talking at once could be a hindrance rather than a help because ‘you end up with too many chiefs and not enough Indians’.
“The communication levels have seemed as vocal to me as they have been in the past,” he said.
“You must be careful as you don't want too many talkers.
“You want the right kind of communication, but not everyone saying their piece. If that happens, you end up with too many chiefs and not enough Indians.
“We're going about training the right way, trying to make sure people speak at the right time. People also need to concentrate on getting their own job right.
“If that happens then hopefully the team will come together in the right way.
“We don't have to do anything crazily different; we just need to cut out the small errors that are costing us dearly.”