Heaslip out to banish bad memories
February 9, 2013
Heaslip wants Ireland to avoid the feeling of disappointment from losses to New Zealand and England in 2012 © Getty Images
Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip admits that his side will be driven on by the memories of their capitulation to England in last year's match when the sides meet on Sunday.
Heaslip was part of a pack that came under massive pressure and conceded a penalty at the first scrum that Owen Farrell kicked to set England on their way to a 30-9 victory. Later in the match England's dominance was complete when their pack shunted Ireland's scrum backwards to win a penalty try.
"We strive to be a consistently good side and always want to do the jersey proud," Heaslip said. "On that day we were sat in the changing room afterwards feeling that we hadn't done the jersey proud. Not many people in the team could say they'd done a good job. We came off second best and we had experience of that in New Zealand as well. There are tough days in any office. You learn from it and go on.
"I haven't looked back on that England game much; it was pretty grim in the changing room afterwards. It wasn't a proud day to be a professional."
Ireland go into the match following a 30-22 win over Wales in Cardiff on the opening weekend of the tournament. It was a day of mixed emotions for Declan Kidney's team as they raced into a 30-3 lead just after half-time, but were then forced to desperately defend for the rest of the match as the reigning champions threatened a remarkable comeback.
Even so there were impressive starts from wings Simon Zebo and Craig Gilroy. Both were threatening with the ball in hand and Zebo scored the first try of the match, while Gilroy made an important tackle on Leigh Halfpenny as Wales started to haul in their opponents in the second half.
"Simon and Craig definitely have that young exuberance about them and are characters in different ways," Heaslip said. "They're great squad men and great to be around. They're playing some good rugby and that's on the back of a lot of work done during the week."
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