O'Driscoll: 'We will not die wondering'
July 1, 2013
Brian O'Driscoll is set to be tasked with steering the Lions into their series-decider against Australia © Getty Images
Brian O'Driscoll has backed the British & Irish Lions to rediscover their bite in the series-decider against Australia in Sydney on Saturday.
The Lions suffered an agonising 16-15 defeat to the Wallabies in Saturday's second Test and their toothless performance has since been subject to widespread criticism. But they remain in the hunt for a first series victory since 1997 and their first over Australia since 1989 and O'Driscoll, who is set to be named captain after Sam Warburton was ruled out of action, is confident that they will deliver their best in this weekend's ANZ Stadium showdown.
"The lads are still down. But there is a realisation of what is still there, that we still have one more go at it. Yes, we would have liked to put it to bed in Melbourne but it is nice to know you have another shot at the series," O'Driscoll wrote in The Daily Telegraph.
"We have to try to go after Australia now. You cannot die wondering about what might have been. We have to try to play a better brand than we have done - we have got to play rugby. Not that we were negative. We built our lead, built our scores, and had good defence but to beat the very best sides - and Australia are obviously in that category - you have got to score tries. So we are going to have to go out and score tries."
The Lions have attracted further criticism for their decision to de-camp to the beach resort of Noosa for two days ahead of their final tour outing with coach Warren Gatland and his squad set to return to Sydney on Wednesday to step up their preparations. O'Driscoll is adamant that the change of scene was just what they needed ahead of their tour-defining clash.
"Do not be fooled if you hear about us recovering in the surf at Noosa this week," he wrote. "We have not come up here to Queensland's Sunshine Coast to be tourists. We are here to get ready for the Test series decider in Sydney on Saturday. It is time now just to rein back a little. You have got only so much in the bank, you cannot keep hammering away doing the same level of training or you will fall flat on your face at the weekend. We found that out in 2001 when we were flogged. No one is going to switch off here in Noosa. But we are going to recharge."
O'Driscoll featured strongly in the build-up to the second Test and repeatedly urged his team-mates not to miss their chance to make history - as he had done when part of the 2001 Lions squad that came up short against the Wallabies. However, he has no intention of re-visiting that disappointment again in the coming days.
"I did try to give my tuppence worth to the boys last week as to my feelings from 12 years ago, seizing the opportunity and all that," he wrote. "It was right for then. Its moment has passed as we did not win. It is always a lot easier to win it at the first go but we didn't. So we go again."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker
It is 100 years this week since the last international match played in Europe before the outbreak of World War One. Rewind remembers the fixture's longest-living survivor