Sunday 25 February 2018

Heaslip: Disappointing but scoreline reflects the game

Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip during the game
Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip during the game

DEFLATED Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip was left to rue his side's inability to hold off a France fightback as the sides drew 13-13 in an attritional RBS 6 Nations encounter in Dublin.

Ireland had forged into a 13-3 half-time lead on the back of a powerful forward display, with Heaslip getting their try and fly-half Paddy Jackson adding the conversion and two long-range penalties.


But Les Bleus hit back as Morgan Parra added a penalty to Frederic Michalak's three-pointer, before outstanding number eight Louis Picamoles barged over and Michalak converted to level the scores.


The result is unlikely to ease the pressure on Ireland coach Declan Kidney.


And Heaslip told BBC1: "It probably wasn't the prettiest game to watch but I think the score reflected the game. There was not much between the teams but they came back strong in the last 20 minutes. It was a very tough game.


"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.


Heaslip said: "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."

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