Six Nations 2013: Weather not to blame for Ireland defeat – Heaslip
Six Nations 2013: Jamie Heaslip refuses to blame the weather conditions for Ireland's 12-6 defeat by England at the Aviva
Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip refused the blame the conditions after Ireland slipped to a defeat by England at the Aviva Stadium, ending their Six Nations Grand Slam hopes.
The wet weather played havoc with the Irish side’s handling, with Heaslip dropping two high balls during the game as England ran out 12-6 winners.
And the 29-year-old Leinster No.8 admitted that the visitors got over the line by virtue of making fewer mistakes than their Irish counterparts.
“The team that made the least amount of mistakes won, they played the conditions very well and played down in our half quite a bit,” said Heaslip after the game.
“They probably had the majority of the possession and territory in the game and smothered us when we had the ball, and made life very hard out there.
“Conditions were tough I suppose but they had the same conditions as well – it didn’t help but in fairness to England they put a lot of pressure on us, their line speed was very good and we’ll have to look at ourselves a little bit.”
Ireland suffered injury blows to two of their most dangerous attackers in the first half, with winger Simon Zebo and then fly-half Jonathan Sexton departing the fray early.
But with record points scorer Ronan O’Gara replacing Sexton and kicking two penalties to draw Ireland level, Heaslip denied the absence of attacking fulcrum Sexton had been key to the defeat.
“Johnny’s obviously a big player for us, he’s a leader in the squad, but it’s great to have someone like Ronan O’Gara come off the bench and control the game,” said Heaslip.
“Rog is Ireland’s most capped player, he knows how to pay in internationals and I thought he was great when he came on.”