Ireland can rebound from their opening Six Nations defeat by Wales when they travel to France this weekend, but they will need to focus on their own performance according to talismanic centre Brian O'Driscoll.
The 33-year-old's enduring class was badly missed in Sunday's defeat by a vibrant Welsh side, a fact the Irish will have to get used to as he is out of the whole tournament due to a shoulder injury.
Thus he had to sit frustrated on the sidelines at Lansdowne Road, albeit as a guest of the Irish President Michael D Higgins.
But in his diary piece for the IRFU website the 117-times capped Irishman - also the Six Nations all-time try scorer with 25 having broken the 78-year-old record last year - said he felt the Irish had lost to the better team.
"On the balance of the rugby played the better team on the day won but we had an opportunity to close out the match," said O'Driscoll, who inspired Ireland to the 2009 Grand Slam.
"In any sport there are days when you don't play wonderfully well but still manage to secure a result. Obviously we were in a position to win the match but were unable to drive it home. The lads will know that better than anyone."
O'Driscoll said he had faith in his teammates finding the resolve to come back from the defeat.
"The team has endured setbacks in the past and come back strongly," said O'Driscoll, who announced his immense talent with a hat-trick of tries against France in Paris in 2000 which was Ireland's first win there since 1972.
"Paris is not the ideal venue to turn things round, given Ireland's record there but the focus will be on getting the performance right. That's something you can control," he added.
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