Saturday 21 October 2017

Heaslip: score fair reflection

Deflated Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip was left to rue his side's inability to hold off a France fightback, although the result is unlikely to ease the pressure on his coach Declan Kidney.

"It probably wasn't the prettiest match to watch but I think the score reflected the game," said Heaslip. "There wasn't much between the teams but they came back strong in the last 20 minutes.

"Picamoles took his chance well at the end and did well despite our best efforts and we took our opportunities when they came."

Heaslip also refused to criticise the decision not to award Ireland a potential match-winning penalty late on. Wing Keith Earls was eased out of his chase for a try in the right-hand corner by France replacement Vincent Debaty. Referee Steve Walsh referred the decision to the video official, but no penalty was given.

"From what I saw, Keith got bumped a bit but they went upstairs, the video referee called it as he did and you have to get on with it."

Kidney was full of praise for Paddy Jackson: "I thought he was composed, for a young lad he's done quite well. It wasn't the type of day that was good for anyone past the nine position because the ball was so slippy and difficult to control; I thought he showed good composure and took a lot of the right decisions."

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport