O’Driscoll admits World Cup a “missed opportunity”

Updated: December 14, 2011

Irish captain Brian O’Driscoll has admitted his regret at losing the World Cup quarter-final to Wales, revealing that he struggles to “think about it” two months on from the defeat.

“I kind of look back on just a massive missed opportunity,” said O’Driscoll. “I don’t really allow myself to think about it too much, because I don’t know when again an Irish team could have the same route into a World Cup final.

“But we just didn’t do it on the day and I think they peaked. They played their best against us in that quarter-final. And you know that’s it in knockout football when you get to that stage.

“It was just a huge, huge anti-climax, because we felt as though during the group stage we had gotten ourselves in a good place to really push hard. And then when you get into a semi-final, I think all bets are off — it doesn’t matter about form, it’s just about the teams that turn up. Unfortunately we didn’t get to taste that.”

However, the year was not a total write off for O’Driscoll as he picked up his second Heineken Cup winners’ medal after his side’s Cardiff comeback from 22-6 down against Northampton Saints.

“I remember at half-time Jonathan Sexton stepped up and said, ‘teams come back in sport the whole time’,” O’Driscoll told Newstalk’s Tom Dunne.

“He made reference to his beloved Liverpool in the Champions League all those years ago, 3-0 down at half-time, and he said, ‘listen, that’s what will make it all the more special’.

“So I suppose that was one of the bits of half-time that I certainly took on board. And then he went on to score 28 points, so you know, if you’re going to make a comment like that, you might as well back it up with a few actions. I think he was saying it for himself.”

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