O'Driscoll urges Ireland to adapt to laws

Brian O'Driscoll insists Ireland must adapt to the controversial new interpretation of the tackle law as soon as possible.

The Irish camp were infuriated by the decision to officiate the tackle area more strictly during Saturday's RBS 6 Nations victory over Wales at Croke Park.

They felt the change in emphasis was largely responsible for the 16 penalties Ireland conceded against Warren Gatland's side and questioned why International Rugby Board referee's chief Paddy O'Brien had issued the new edict midway through a major tournament.

The fresh interpretation has given players little time to adjust a skill they have spent considerable time honing, but O'Driscoll insists they have no option but to perfect it in time for Saturday's clash with Scotland.

"There's no point in crying about it, though ideally you'd prefer something not to be changed midway through a tournament," he said.

"This is the way it's panned out and we'll have to deal with it like every other team in the competition.

"Old habits die hard but it's our responsibility as professionals to make sure we correct the mistakes we made last weekend.

"We've been practising this week and looking at the video to make sure it doesn't happen again."

O'Driscoll admits the new interpretation of law 15.6(c) will affect all players - but especially poachers in the mould of brilliant South Africa openside Heinrich Brussow.

"The change in emphasis negates the strength of every team," he said.

"When you've put many years into honing one skill and all of a sudden it's changed you have to go and practice a new skill.

"If you asked Heinrich Brussow he was probably crying over it because he's made a career out of it as the world's best.

"Now the rules have changed. Now we all have to poach balls in a different way."

Ireland coach Declan Kidney has met with O'Brien, but the Kiwi declared referees must continue down the current path.

"You never like to have your penalty count in double figures," said Kidney.

"We'll have to look at what's within our control and do the best we can with that.

"A different emphasis will always lead to different leanings but you just have to adjust as fast as you can.

"We have a huge game on Saturday and Paddy made it quite clear he's not for moving.

"It's his prerogative what law he emphasises and it's our job to get on with it.

"I'll meet Paddy every day of the week if there's a point but otherwise I'll be busy enough doing my little bit for the lads' efforts on Saturday."

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