Ireland will turn more than a few heads with their victory over New Zealand this afternoon.
It is rare for the All Blacks to lose in any fixture, but to see them dominated in such a manner was really an anomaly. Andy Farrell's men outplayed them in every facet of the game, with the 29-20 scoreline actually flattering the visitors.
It is certainly a remarkable turnaround for Ireland, a team who earlier this year looked to be seriously lacking direction. Now, they have a template from which they can operate moving forward.
Speaking on RTÉ after the game, Eddie O'Sullivan, Stephen Ferris, and Jamie Heaslip summed up just how remarkable this showing was from Ireland.
— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) November 13, 2021
The trio also said this must be now used as a benchmark for Ireland moving forward, setting standards as they move further into the Andy Farrell era.
Heaslip: They are building trust and confidence in that process. We won it our way I think.
Not only did we win our way, we dominated playing the way we play, because New Zealand can't have any excuses here. As Eddie said, we were the only team on the field today.
We dominated being authentic and playing to our strengths. That is really encouraging.
Ferris: Ireland were a joy to watch, they really were. I take my hat off to all the lads, the coaching staff who had come under a lot of criticism.
There was that summer series that we talked about, the Wales and Scotland games here, they were all over the place and didn't know what direction they were going in. I think we know now.
O'Sullivan: I think today was a new benchmark for us. It's a fantastic benchmark, because we have beaten the best team in the world and beat them well. The score didn't reflect our dominance to be fair.
I would take it and say this is really a benchmark for Ireland. It's something to build on and I think they know that. You'd have to be very optimistic after this win.
Quite the day for Irish rugby. Here's hoping it can help lead to bigger and better things...