Wednesday 28 June 2017

Jamie Heaslip: 'We lost as a team, not because of one error'

Leinster captain backs Ian Madigan for costly mistake against Toulon

Leinster's Jamie Heaslip, dejected after his side's defeat
Leinster's Jamie Heaslip, dejected after his side's defeat
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Jamie Heaslip has leapt to the defence of Ian Madigan following his mis-placed pass in extra time that led to Toulon scoring the vital try in Leinster's Champions Cup semi-final defeat today.

Madigan's attempted pass just before half time in extra time was intercepted by Bryan Habana and the Springbok raced clear to score the vital try that would ultimately send the reigning champions to another Champions Cup final.

Madigan was replaced by Gordon D'Arcy just after the restart in extra time but captain Heaslip says that the crushing defeat is not down to one player's error.

"It’s not down to one player. It’s down to the group, the collective to be honest. At different times, all players made mistakes in the game, on both sides," said Heaslip.

Leinster's Ian Madigan leaves the field with his team-mates, including Marty Moore and Zane Kirchner, following his side's defeat
Leinster's Ian Madigan leaves the field with his team-mates, including Marty Moore and Zane Kirchner, following his side's defeat

"So it can’t be down to one moment. We left opportunities out there in the first 40. We had position and momentum to get more return than we did. In the third quarter, they had a purple patch and we stood our ground."

Leinster went into today's clash as underdogs and although events on the pitch were not too easy on the eye, Matt O'Connor's men put in a good showing against the European superpowers.

"It felt like a boxing match, a slugfest, punishing each other for making is takes, especially when one of us got to the other side. It showed there was nothing between the sides. They’re such a good side and thy can punish you," added Heaslip.

"We always have an inner belief, an inner confidence, that if you do your job and haven confidence in mates that they can do their job, we can stress teams and get points. We showed that today.

"We spoke quickly afterwards of having that confidence. We have a massive challenge in the League. We knew we had to produce some of our best rugby and do all the people who followed us proud. Hopefully we did that in our effort and our actions.

"It was a weird old match. We played the conditions well, we had them doubting themselves and had them under pressure. We needed to score first in the second-half and they may have folded."

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