Declan Kidney: thrilled

Ireland coach Declan Kidney celebrated a famous victory over England and then saluted the GAA for the magnanimity in opening Croke Park to rugby. "We are leaving Croke Park with two wins over England and that is good any day of the week. I'm delighted about that because the Gaelic Athletic Association deserved that much from us," he emphasised.

Kidney admitted he had a few uneasy moments because for all his team's supremacy, the team failed to score. "When you have moments of supremacy like we had you have to keep the scoreboard ticking over. We left a few points behind us out there and no one will no that more than Ronan [O'Gara]. But you have days like that. I think we hit the woodwork twice with our efforts."

The Ireland supremo said his big fear going into the game was that England might be fresher than his side because of the extra time off they had. "They slowed up our ball and we didn't get the quick ball we wanted. So we had to roll up our sleeves and be patient and we did that.

"The defence on both sides were magnificent and that meant there were fewer chances. But this is an ambitious group of players we have here and I knew from training that they were ready. I'm not just paying lip service but this was done by the whole squad, not just the lads who played."

Winger Luke Fitzgerald said: "It was a really tough game. We are all very tired after the effort and it was nerve-wracking towards the end."

And as for the captain who left the field battered and bruised after some hard and harsh hits? "It is easier to accept all that when you've a result like that. Test matches don't come much harder than that. As for the try, I just let the pack do all the hard work. There wasn't much to it and there have been a few more glamourous than that but they all count. We put them to the sword when we had the number advantage and it was a big win"