Heaslip delights in Croke Park revenge
November 30, 2009
Ireland's Jamie Heaslip celebrates his side's latest win over the Springboks in Dublin © Getty Images
Ireland No.8 Jamie Heaslip's delight at exacting revenge over South Africa could yet be soured by an allegation of eye-gouging.
The Six Nations Grand Slam champions edged out the recently-crowned Tri-Nations kings 15-10 at Croke Park to record their third successive victory over the Springboks. For the nine players who played featured for the British & Irish Lions series loss to South Africa earlier this year the victory was all the sweeter.
However, Heaslip's joy could be short-lived with reports that South Africa are set to file a complaint against Heaslip for an alleged eye-gouge on flanker Heinrich Brussow.
"I was very confident that with the squad we have and the mentality we've generated over the past year that we could win," the 25-year-old Leinster star said following Ireland's latest success. "I'm very happy with the performance. Since the last game of the Lions tour we had targeted this as a match we could win. Some of us lost two games to them in the summer and we felt that wasn't fair justice."
But in the wake of the bruising encounter, the Springboks have reportedly asked citing commissioner Douglas Hunter to investigate an alleged gouging incident that took place in the first half. SARugby.com reports that Hunter has noted the complaint and will review the video evidence before deciding whether there is a case to answer.
The complaint is the latest unsavoury incident involving the two countries after Springboks flanker was found guilty of "'making contact with the eye area" of Ireland wing Luke Fitzgerald in the opening moments of the Lions' second Test clash with South Africa in Pretoria.
One of the hallmarks of Ireland's victory was their willingness to match South Africa blow for blow in an often ferocious encounter. They attacked the breakdown with ferocity and gave everything in defence, prompting centre Gordon D'Arcy to state that Ireland refuse to be cowed.
"South Africa try to bully you off the pitch but if there was any bullying to be done we were going to do it," said D'Arcy. "This calendar year we've shown we're a physical team with a pack that can mix it with anyone in the world. When it comes down to the nitty gritty we can do it as well as anyone."