Heaslip keen to cut out inconsistency

Des Berry

"None of us has a DeLorean (car), so we can't go back in time," said Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip.

This was a sharp observation made in reference to how Michael J. Fox travelled back in time to right past wrongs in the film 'Back To The Future'.

Heaslip was alluding to Ireland's inconsistencies since the 2009 Grand Slam: "I don't know if it is an issue. We strive to be consistently good.

"This season, we've put a massive emphasis on our training every day. If we train at a high standard, you have more of a chance to play better at the weekend. 'Train as you play' is an old mantra that my Dad used to beat into me. We are quite focused on the now. We're not too worried about what has happened. We want to be up there with the best in the world."

Of course, England humbled New Zealand, the best in the world, in November. They have taken the belief from that one-off performance and turned it into two-out-of-two against Scotland. In the same way, Ireland have built on their seven tries against Argentina with three more against Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

"It made us dig deep into our tank of confidence in ourselves. It really tested our mentality when our backs were against the wall," said Heaslip.

"We played 20 minutes there with 14 men. It is hard enough playing with 15 against Wales, who play a really wide expansive game.

"England are something similar. In a way, it was good preparation, both the first half for the ball we had to attack and the second half to play with relatively no ball."

The secret is to stop going from one extreme to another, from dominating to being dominated. Ireland have to put the foot down and keep it down.