Irish Rugby: O’Brien eyes Ireland improvement

 Sean OBrien Ireland flanker rugby union

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Ireland flanker Sean O’Brien insists there is more to come from the men in green following the heart-breaking defeat to New Zealand.

Joe Schmidt’s side had the All Blacks on the ropes in Dublin last weekend but contrived to throw away a 22-7 lead to go down 24-22 at the Aviva Stadium.
The victory saw the Kiwis pull off a perfect season with 14 straight wins in 2013, including autumn wins over France and England.

However, Ireland almost threw a spanner in the works with three early tries before New Zealand proved exactly why they are the reigning world champions with an uncompromising comeback.

Aaron Cruden’s conversion of Ryan Crotty’s overtime try sealed the win to leave Ireland contemplating what might have been and O’Brien feels there are lessons to be learnt.

The Leinster man said: “Lads will have to have a good look at their game; what we did well and didn’t do so well.

“I think we can improve on that performance. If we bring that intensity and work-rate that we had at the start of the game into the Six Nations, then we’ll be in a good place.

“We’ve set standards in the past and this is one of those, but we’ve to make sure we kick on from there and make sure that’s there every day in the Six Nations.”

Ireland kick off their 2014 RBS 6 Nations campaign at home against Scotland on February 2 while they face trips to England and France during the annual championship.

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