Heaslip: ‘We showed incredible heart’

Date published: April 20 2015

Leinster captain Jamie Heaslip was immensly proud of his side despite their extra-time loss to Toulon in the Champions Cup semi-final.

Bryan Habana's interception try sealed Toulon's path to a third-straight European final, with Leinster missing out on the chance to return to Twickenham where they triumphed in 2012.

"A lot of people didn't give us a shout and we came here with nothing to lose. The heart shown by everyone out there to give 100 minutes and take it right to the wire was incredible," Heaslip told the EPCR website.

"At half-time we had a lot of confidence. We thought we had a couple of chances out there, but we didn't take them.

"We focussed on our set-piece, exit plans and defensive systems in the build-up to the game and we asked a lot of questions of them. At times we put them under pressure, but it just didn't come our way.

"They are a difficult side to break down. Credit to my guys, but fair play to Toulon for the win."

Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor was also proud, finding no fault in the effort from this players.

"It was a pretty impressive performance from my guys. They gave every bit of effort they had and we led for large parts of the game – they are gutted in the dressing room," added O'Connor.

"The conditions made it difficult to play out there and the defences dominated. It was hard to put passes together and get the ball to the edges.

"We dug in for large parts of the game, but the interception try changed the game. We wanted to drive at them, make their forwards work really hard and break them down in the last 15 minutes.

"Unfortunately, we weren't good enough to do that, but the effort that those 23 players put in shows how much it means to them to play for Leinster. We may have lost, but this performance has shown we can compete against the best club side ever put together."