RaboDirect Pro12: Jamie Heaslip reflects on Leinster’s win
RaboDirect Pro12: Jamie Heaslip admits Leinster made hard work of their 13-9 win against Ulster
Jamie Heaslip admitted Leinster made it hard for themselves in their 13-9 win over interprovincial rivals Ulster to reach a fifth successive RaboDirect Pro12 final.
Leinster slipped to a 6-0 lead at the break through two successful penalties from Paddy Jackson and went further behind before being able to get a foothold in the game and the number 8—captain for the night with Leo Cullen on the bench—thought they made it easy for Ulster to get ahead.
“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb, I suppose,” Heaslip said. “I think it was 9-0 at one stage and that’s never easy, especially against a team like Ulster.
“I think we gave them a lot of easy access points, I felt that our defence was quite solid in the first half and we gave away silly penalties that allowed them to get that lead.”
Jimmy Gopperth got the reigning champions back into the match with two successful kicks at goal before Ian Madigan—on for the injured Brian O’Driscoll— scored the game’s only try with seven minutes left on the clock.
And Heaslip was full of praise for his fellow forwards as they paved the way for the win that sets up a final farewell for O’Driscoll and Cullen in front of a full house.
“In the second half I thought we held on to the ball quite well, produced a lot of quick ball and held on to the ball,” he added.
“Our front row did an amazing job in the scrum and gave me an unbelievable platform at the back to keep it in and keep driving. We crept out the win in the end.”