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O'Driscoll the man to fear

Will Greenwood Posted 3rd June 2009 view comments

Will Greenwood says that Brian O'Driscoll is the key for success against the Springboks, but use him sparingly!

O'Driscoll was in scintillating form as the Lions bounced back from a disappointing performance against the Royal XV to smash the Golden Lions 74-10.

However with the competition fierce for a test spot and O'Driscoll still nursing an injured shoulder, Greenwood hopes that the Lions management do not use him for the Cheetahs game on Saturday.

O'Driscoll: in fine form

O'Driscoll: in fine form

"I will be surprised if we saw him before the Stormers game, he is that important for the Lions," he told Sky Sports.

"He is crucial and such a vocal point and allows other young players on their first Lions tour to relax.

"We need him to be playing at the top of his ability if you want to beat the Springboks."

O'Driscoll is regarded as one of the best players in the world and his presence in the team cannot be underestimated.

The opposition are terrified of him so they back off and he takes the yardage. If they step up looking for the big hit he uses simple hands to move the ball away.

Will Greenwood
Quotes of the week

LIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA
Follow the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa on Sky Sports throughout Grand Slam Summer.For more on the Grand Slam Summer click here

"The sign of a good player is someone who has got time on the ball. He just looks comfortable with the people around him," added Greenwood.

"The opposition are terrified of him so they back off and he takes the yardage. If they step up looking for the big hit he uses simple hands to move the ball away.

"He does have weaknesses to his game but what he has learnt through his career is learn to adapt his weaknesses and play to his strengths."

Ieuan Evans agrees with Will and says the key to winning the series is to get the combination of O'Driscoll's skills with some ferocity upfront.

"You need his finesse to go with the ferocity as well. You need to be physically up for the challenge and we saw that tonight.

"You cannot back off the challenge from the Springboks. But if you bring some subtle and some extra skills and use what Gerald Davies called smart rugby then I think that will be crucial come the end of the series."

Comments (9)

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Toby Mckenzie says...

Tawanda and fellow Southern Hem boys know what the result will be. The northern Hem will not be able to live with the intensity of the break down. Burger will be menacing..

Posted 01:42 8th June 2009

Hugh Kenny says...

Matthew Maher Chris Jack was a joke up here.. got owned and did nothing unlike Elsom... and his attitude towards NH rugby is completely different to JAcks Adrian Williams are u blind?.. O Driscoll is the best centre in the world and will shit of whoever you put up against him no matter where they come from

Posted 19:17 7th June 2009

Lorcan Oreilly says...

I dont think the likes of Adrian are happy to see the Lions confident the truth is the world champions are there for the taking yes the Bulls are an absolute superb team but the other south african franchises arnt so convincing some big names underprofroming too. In Reality all the advantages are with the boks if the lions had months to prepare like teams of amatuer eras did theyed desimate the boks think 74 lions. And adrian no u keep ur stupid comments to yourself the south africans dominate many positions on the pitch over the 15 players. But ODriscoll is the best centre in the worls and youd be hard pushed to find a another 13 to stand up to him. Cmon the lions

Posted 22:12 5th June 2009

Gavin Murphy says...

Quick point for Tawanda Pari,South africa are actually playing the British AND IRISH Lions,if it were just the British Lions O Driscoll plus another 12 or so players in the squad wouldnt be elligible due to the fact that they are not british

Posted 19:07 5th June 2009

Adrian Vaglietti says...

Well done to the Lions for a very good victory on Wed but i must hasten to add that the Golden Lions team they faced are in dire straights as a club and team with players wanting to stage a walk out only a week before this game. Needless to say teams can only speak on the field in there performances and in my opinion the Golden Lions were a disgrace, which leads me on to a point that the schedule of the Lions playing the Sharks then the emerging Boks so soon before the first test may give the Lions a big surprise because of the weak sides they'll be facing leading up to those two games. The Cheetahs will be brave but lacking in quality and the Stormers without their Boks are not a shadow of the side they are with them. The Southern Kings are an untested side so an opinion on them may be wrong but they are seriously lacking in the quality needed to test a side of the Lions strength. I do think that the Lions had a good game on Wed and it was definitely a good moral boost after there disappointing run out against the Royals, but after the Southern Kings game the Lions may be in for a very different tour than they are having now....

Posted 12:46 5th June 2009

Dan Doherty says...

Tawanda Pari, if you can over-romanticize about a B & I Lions versus Blue Bulls match being an "unofficial" fourth test then us B & I Lions fans are entitled to over-romanticize about a 74-10 tour win. Question...Why try to take the shine off a wonderful performance by the B & I Lions so far from home with words like "true rugby watchers know the truth"? Answer...The home team got stuffed and you're worried some of the same could come South Africa's way so its time to get the excuses ready!

Posted 18:25 4th June 2009

Tawanda Pari says...

Although i appreciate you can only beat what's in front of you, it still cracks me up how the British Lions are written up by the press as embarrassing no-hopers one week, and then as the best thing ever the following week. True rugby watchers know the truth is always in between. Some context in the 2009 Super 14 tournament, the Golden Lions were 2 points off the nadir of the table. So it is impossible for the Lions to truly measure themselves against one of the worst sides in any of the three southern hemisphere Super 14 teams. The Blue Bulls showed the difference in class between themselves and the rest by disciplining a pretty strong Waikato Chiefs in the final. But even that's not the point. The point is that the last time the British Lions played against the the Bulls (ie Northern Transvaal in 2007), the British Lions were creamed. Unsuprisingly they refused to add the Blue Bulls to the tour schedule in what would likely have been an "unofficial" 4th test against the dominant club side in world rugby. The hyperbole associated with British Lions is amusing to people who know their rugby. After all, in 1997 South Africa had no recognised goal kicker and still only lost by 4 points (having surrendered a possible 19). You can't blame the Lions for that.- granted. But please spare us this over-romanticization of the British Lions. the true examinations are around the corner, so let's not get carried away. scoring 74 points tells you more about the opposition.

Posted 14:04 4th June 2009

Johnny Dyson says...

O'Driscoll was a picture of composure on the ball tonight. Jamie Roberts looks like the perfect partner for O'Driscoll in the midfield. He makes yardage every time he takes the ball up and he and O'Driscoll already seem to have a strong understanding of each other's game. They consistently linked well tonight with Bowe providing a third midfield playmaker and breaker throughout the match. Just as upfront leadership in the backline will be vital against South Africa. O'Driscoll provides that through his experience, playmaking and ruthless defense setting an example for his team mates. He's our X factor and as Will says it's vital he's fully fit to take the game to the Springboks.

Posted 00:47 4th June 2009

Keith Reeves says...

I couldn't agree more that O'Driscoll is crucial to the test sides chances of success against South Africa even from the training pitch. He oozes class and confidence which appears to rub off on those around him and worries the opposition onto their heels. Several players may come home from this tour playing rugby on a different level given enough time around O'Driscoll. I was also impressed by the team performance against the Golden Lions, the combinations complimented each other well and it all came together. Quick ball changes the game completely and it was more impressive than watching the Bulls on Saturday. It looks like the Lions are keen to play the South Africans at their own game, game on.

Posted 23:57 3rd June 2009

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