Ireland don't want to be second best


Rugby:Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll is determined that the team will produce a performance representative of its quality when they take on New Zealand in the second test at Christchurch on Saturday morning (8.35am, Irish time).

The Irish players want to atone for what was a disappointing and comprehensive 42-10 defeat to the All Blacks at Eden Park last Saturday. Ireland coach Declan Kidney has made several changes to a team that now contains 10 players from the Heineken Cup champions, Leinster.

O’Driscoll ventured: “Every time you pull on a Test jersey, irrespective of the occasion, it is special. This is no different. We are not playing here for second best.” He returns to the venue where he was the victim of a spear tackle that put his out of the 2005 Lions tour. “Time heals all wounds,” he said, “even shoulder wounds.

“I get the feeling that there are quite a few Paddies in Christchurch. We were told at training today that every Irish person in the area was trying to get a ticket for the game. We’d like to give them something to cheer about too.”

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen expects Ireland to produce a far better performance, saying: “We are expecting Ireland to improve, as they are a nation with a ‘never-say-die’ attitude so what we did last time won’t be good enough.”