Ireland centre Garry Ringrose spoke of his delight after completing a clean sweep of the autumn with a 57-14 victory over the United States in Dublin.
Ringrose was the only member of the starting XV to stay in place after last week’s historic victory over the All Blacks, but Andrew Conway stole the headlines as his hat-trick capped off a perfect end to Ireland’s November.
Conway was central to everything positive going forward, with Jack Conan also crossing in the first half and the USA fighting back valiantly as Joe Taufete’e dotted down to add to a penalty try.
But 33 unanswered points through Tadhg Beirne, Stuart McCloskey, Quinn Roux, and John Ryan, along with the boot of Joey Carbery, meant Ireland ran away with it to make it a clean sweep of four autumn victories.
“With the players they have it was never going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination, commented Ringrose. “I think the scoreboard was a bit flattering towards us and it was actually a really tough, tight game.
“If the bounce of the ball had gone a different way the score could have been very different.
“There was a couple of new combinations out there, we had to stick to our guns and reacting to conceding a try or two was a really good learning curve.
“Even from four weeks ago when we started this, right to the end, it was about upholding those standards right to the finish and making it a successful autumn.”
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt changed 14 players from the New Zealand win and no doubt will have been impressed as many players advanced their claims ahead of the 2019 Six Nations.
The victory means that Ireland have produced a clean sweep of the autumn for a second straight year after early November wins over Italy and Argentina.
Schmidt’s men have lost just once in 12 Tests in 2018, with lock Tadhg Beirne also enjoying the experience at Aviva Stadium.
“It was a good shift in the end,” said Beirne. “We started well and we let the US back into it. They put up a really good fight and we gave a much better performance in the second half.
“Especially at the start they brought it to us and they carried direct and we got caught defensively with a few easy penalties.
“We’ll definitely look at that going forwards and improve on it.”