It was typical Declan Kidney. The news was delivered to the Irish coach at the post-match press conference that his side had missed just one tackle from 100 made. "We'll have to find that guy," he responded in that deadpan way of his. But all joking aside – or at least we think he was joking – it was a supreme defensive effort from Ireland, one that allowed the backs to go on and win the game.
"We defended brilliantly, we worked hard in that area," said Paul O'Connell. "But it's a big bonus to have backs like the ones we have. They're great finishers, they're confident guys and to score three tries in a place like Twickenham is massive. We're happy with however we win a game but to score three tries like is a nice way to do it."
O'Connell was answering the questions in place of Brian O'Driscoll, who went off injured after colliding with the second-row's knee. Kidney confirmed his captain was fine and O'Connell was there as punishment. The Munster man, however, was more than capable of speaking on what this victory meant after Paris.
"Brian said to us yesterday that teams are defined by how they react to losing games so it was on our mind. We could have picked an easier place to come and do it than Twickenham but it was a great performance. We were all really focused on making this a great day for John Hayes and his family and that helped us. There was a great intensity about us and we really played for each other. And there was a real belief in the final minutes we were good enough to win and that's a great feeling for a team to have."
As for Martin Johnson, he wore the look of a man who knew his side could have won the game were he blessed with backs. "We got back into game when we might have been out of it and we were good enough to go ahead after that. Even at the end, we were pressuring them. We were trying to play effective rugby out there. We're not playing that way because you [the media] want us to or because it's sexy. We're doing it because it's effective." But not effective enough.