Ireland head coach Declan Kidney is not getting carried away with his side’s nail-biting victory over Wales at the Millennium Stadium, saying the win is just 'a good start' to the competition.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport following the 30-22 win, Kidney was understated in his reaction to Ireland’s first win in Cardiff since the Grand Slam winning clincher in 2009.
“It’s great to come to the home of the champions and get a win. It gives us a good start, but that is all that it is,” said Kidney. “Obviously we are delighted with the first-half performance, but we will have to take a good look at the second half.
“We had to defend with our lives in the second half, but that is when a group comes together. You can’t practice what they did out there. I would like to believe that it will give them a lot of confidence in how they play for one another. Guys did not care about themselves today. They just put themselves where they needed to be.
“The first half was pretty good. A few things went our way. Rory got a good block down, managed to gather the ball, three passes went to hand and suddenly we are in for a try. Those small margins make a massive difference.”
Kidney had praise for Six Nations debutants Simon Zebo and Craig Gilroy, but reminded them that the competition for their places is fierce.
Kidney added: “The younger guys did nicely, but we thought they would. They had to (play well) because there is competition for places from Fergus (McFadden), Luke (Fitzgerald) and Andrew (Trimble). We are trying to build a squad and we are evolving nicely.”
And the Irish coach had a special word for man of the match Brian O’Driscoll, whose performance Kidney described as brilliant.
Kidney said: “He was brilliant wasn’t he, but that’s Brian. We said we wanted Brian the player as much as Brian the captain and he was just brilliant today.”