Captain Jamie Heaslip was proud of Ireland's performance against Fiji
Last Updated: November 18, 2012 2:06pm
Jamie Heaslip: Proud of Ireland's performance against Fiji
Skipper Jamie Heaslip expressed his pride in Ireland's performance following their 53-0 shut-out of Fiji on Saturday.
The Leinster forward, leading his country for the second time, praised the willingness of his young team-mates to put their bodies on the line to keep Fiji scoreless at Thomond Park in Limerick.
He said: "I was quite proud of the performance of the squad.
"It was a privilege to lead out a side that was full of such an enthusiastic bunch of guys.
"We talked all week about focusing on our roles and getting the details right. I said during the week that we have been training really well and, against Fiji, we played how we trained. We didn't get any return last week (against South Africa) but I was quite proud to see the return we got this week."
The wounds of a 60-0 mauling at the hands of New Zealand on their summer tour have not healed completely. Heaslip believes shutting out an attack-hungry Fiji team bodes well ahead of Argentina's visit to Dublin on Saturday.
He said: "I'm more pleased with the zero (conceded) than the amount of tries we scored, to be honest. It is really hard in international rugby, to be able to shut a team out and give them no scores at all. That zero was ... I'm more proud of that than the scores.
"It would have been really easy to take the foot off the gas coming into that last quarter but credit to the lads for not doing so. Fiji kept the pressure on and had a good bit of ball near our line but guys stepped up, put their bodies on the line and stepped up at pretty significant times."
No Test caps were handed out for the fixture but players such as Iain Henderson, hat-trick star Craig Gilroy and Luke Marshall have thrown their names into the selection mix for the Argentina Test.
Heaslip remarked: "We've talked a lot about owning that jersey for a day and even though it wasn't a full Test, for some of the younger guys, they really stepped up to the mark as if it was a full international. They did the jersey proud."