After three less than convincing performances to open the Guinness Six Nations, Ireland were much improved against the French this afternoon. It was an utterly dominant opening half from Joe Schmidt's side, who dominated the possession and territory stats in running up a 21-0 lead before the interval.
While the second half petered out somewhat, a Keith Earls try was enough to give Ireland the bonus point victory.
This afternoon also marked another occasion, as it was captain Rory Best's last Six Nations game on Irish soil. The 36-year old hooker is set to retire from international rugby after the World Cup this autumn, bringing to an end an illustrious 14-year career in the green jersey.
The hooker was visibly emotional during the national anthems, and barring a pair of late French tries to put a bit of gloss on the scoreline, it was the perfect afternoon for the Ulster man. He even got on the scoresheet, giving his side an early lead after only two minutes.
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Speaking after the game, Best said he would look back fondly on his Six Nations memories accumulated in Dublin over the years:
I'm far from prolific in scoring, but to get a try, it's a move we worked on all week. It's nice when they come off, and it's nice to score tries!
Yeah it'll be my last home game in the Six Nations. On one hand it's bitterly disappointing to know that you won't play out here in a Six Nations game again. But on the other hand, it was a great way to go out.
To score 26 points against this French side is something we can be really proud of. While I'll miss all these bits and pieces, I think I can look back on many wonderful memories at the Aviva Stadium, and before that Lansdowne Road.
Despite this being a landmark occasion in his career, in typical fashion, he was already looking forward to a massive game in Cardiff next weekend:
We will go there knowing that we are getting a lot closer to how we want to play. We'll go there with the encouragement that we know we can be a lot better as well.
They're obviously going for a Grand Slam and it'll be a massive game. It's going to be a proper Six Nations test match.
Ireland still have an outside chance of retaining their Six Nations crown, although it would require a big win in Cardiff and for England to fail to beat Scotland on home soil.
Even after next week, Best's work with Ireland is far from done, with the small matter of the World Cup on the horizon. Now that would be a real fairytale ending...