Heaslip’s delight at Welsh shut-out
Jamie Heaslip, Leinster’s No 8 forward, expressed his delight that Ireland had managed to keep their try line intact against Welsh opponents noted for their scoring.
Reflecting on the fact that Ireland touched down on three occasions and prevented their guests from breaching the home line he said: “We’re happy — very happy — with the win, especially against a side who have been scoring tries. It’s great that we were able to shut them out.”
But Heaslip admitted that the new Southern Hemisphere-influenced interpretation of the law in breakdown situations had caused Ireland some problems.
“We probably gave away a couple of penalties because of the way they’re ruling in the ruck nowadays — the new way of understanding it — but we’re very happy with the way we turned up in defence,” he said. “We were very disciplined.”
Highlighting Ireland’s success in countering Wales’ tactics, he pointed out: “They played a very wide game and tried to stretch us by bringing us right out to the touchline.
“But we were closing them down when they went out there and closing down the space very well when they tried to come back in. We got some good turnovers and got a fair bit of ball that way.
With Ireland having managed to pinch Welsh line-out ball, too, especially in the first half, Heaslip explained that had been as a result of much hard work.
“Paul (O’Connell), Leo (Cullen) and Donncha (O’Callaghan) have put a lot of effort into that, so that makes life a whole lot easier for people like me and Stevie (Ferris) and the other guys in the line-out,” he said.
“We pride ourselves on being a line-out attacking team and that has been the case again today.”
He was satisfied, too, with Ireland’s ability to finish, saying: “We showed how clinical we can be with the ball in our hands.”