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Heaslip not getting carried away with Ireland's comprehensive win over Wales

The Irish captain was content with a ‘good, solid’ performance in Cardiff.

Rory Keane reports from the Millennium Stadium

IRELAND CAPTAIN JAMIE Heaslip is refusing to get carried away following his side’s dominant display in a 35-21 win over Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

The Leinster number eight strolled over for Ireland’s opening try of the afternoon in the eighth minute, with Darren Cave and Keith Earls following suit during a 30-minute blitz that left an inexperienced Welsh outfit reeling.

Jamie Heaslip celebrates winning Heaslip was superb for Joe Schmidt's Ireland. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Simon Zebo and Felix Jones added second-half tries and, although Wales finished strongly with late scores from Justin Tipuric and Alex Cuthbert, Heaslip was just happy to get the first Test of the season out of the way.

“Personally, the first game is never enjoyable,” said Heaslip. “You’re always having this weird outer-body experience. You’re looking at yourself standing there thinking ‘why aren’t you running?”

It’s that kind of half second of delay because you’re tired and you have to get up to speed; that kind of thinking speed. So, I’m sure there’s plenty of moments like that in the video for me. I’m looking forward to the Sunday review when we get back tomorrow!”

Heaslip, who surpassed David Wallace as Ireland’s most-capped backrower by winning his 73rd cap on Saturday, heaped praise on his pack, particularly Donnacha Ryan, who was making his first Test start in 29 months, and the impressive Jordi Murphy.

“I thought it was a good hit out; a good, solid performance,” said the Ireland skipper.

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“I think we created a lot of opportunities; it was encouraging to get a try off a set piece; off a scrum. I thought the scrum went really well. It was good to have a good launching platform there for the backline.

Jamie Heaslip, Mike Ross and Richardt Strauss during the national anthems Heaslip alongside Mike Ross and Richardt Strauss. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“Donnacha put a lot of work in this week with Simon (Easterby). I thought Jordi at the front there on five-mans and six-mans (lineouts) was really good getting up in the air. He got a good few single lifts off Jack (McGrath) and caused a lot pressure up the front. That’s all off the work that the lads have been putting over the last week.”

On an afternoon of positives for Ireland, the sight of flanker Tommy O’Donnell leaving the field on a stretcher with a hip injury was a serious cause for concern and Heaslip sympathised with his stricken team-mate.

You never want to see a guy coming off the field, especially on a stretcher,” Heaslip added.

“Tommy was having an excellent game I thought. He was hoovering up any kind of loose ball as well as getting through a huge amount of work defensively.

“You can be rest assured that he’s with the best people right now. We have an excellent medical and rehab staff. We’ve got amazing facilities ready for us whenever we need them. He’s in good hands.”

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