Irish struggled with Kiwi pace - Heaslip

PA Sport
Jamie Heaslip said New Zealand's forwards excelled at providing quick ball
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Jamie Heaslip said New Zealand's forwards excelled at providing quick ball

Jamie Heaslip has conceded that Ireland could not deal with the devastating pace of New Zealand's play after their 42-10 defeat in the first Test at Eden Park.

The Irish number eight felt costly turnovers combined with the All Blacks' lethal line speed were the deciding factors in New Zealand's handsome victory.

"The goal, the thing that everyone is chasing, is quick ball," said Heaslip. Their forwards provided a great launching platform with quick ball off that. With Dan (Carter) pulling the strings, they have really good guys that can hit it up in the middle as well as really good finishers with outstanding pace.

He added: "If those guys can get consistent, quick ball it puts your defensive system under pressure. You know, it was kind of hard, it was very quick at times out there and that's hard to defend against."

Ireland started off the first Test with some exciting, running rugby of their own but they were often repelled backwards and, in turn, spilled balls that the All Blacks pounced on.

"I think holding on to the ball rather than turning it over is the best way to play the game," Heaslip remarked.

"When we held on to it I think that we posed some questions and made some inroads in their defence, when he got reasonably quick ball. However, when it slowed right down, their line was set and it was hard to break it down."

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