The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
O’Driscoll was quick to acknowledge the improvements from last weekend’s laboured victory over Samoa, but conceded that, to beat the best in the world, concentration was needed for the full 80 minutes.
"We take a lot of positives from the game as we played some really good rugby and are proud of our display,” he said.
"We had the best side in the world under the cosh for large periods and scored some great tries, although we were up against it at times too.
"We played well for about 67 minutes but a 10 minute period before and after half-time cost us. A team of their class is able to punish us for lapses and we were chasing the game after that.
"The conditions were perfect for running rugby so we played with width and made fewer unforced errors than in our previous matches.”
New Zealand had a 19-13 lead at half-time after Anthony Boric’s try and Dan Carter’s boot, with Stephen Ferris’ try and eight points from Jonathan Sexton for a much-changed Ireland.
But a Kieran Read double and one from Sam Whitelock, with two Carter conversions, put the result beyond Ireland, who only had an O’Driscoll try to show for their second-half efforts.