Ireland captain Johnny Sexton believes his side are building momentum after praising the performance of the back three in their 24-14 victory over Wales in Dublin.
Tries from Jordan Larmour and Tadhg Furlong saw Ireland take a 12-7 lead into the half-time break, with Tomos Williams crossing in response for the defending champions.
Further scores from Josh van der Flier and Andrew Conway sealed a bonus-point triumph for the hosts at the Aviva Stadium while Justin Tipuric grabbed Wales an injury-time consolation.
And with Ireland now sitting at the summit of the table with two wins from two, Sexton was delighted with the way his team performed – singling out the back three in particular.
“It was brilliant, it had a bit of everything,” said Sexton. “It had some of the stuff that we had spoken about last week that we didn’t put out there against Scotland.
“When we get the ball in our back-three’s hands, something can happen and they showed that. They stuck to the tactics really well in terms of when we got on the edge.
“The temptation is always to run but they got us field position at times brilliantly and some our shape was really good – what we’ve been working on – and we won.
“That’s the most important thing for us, is winning. We’re building momentum now but obviously our biggest challenge is ahead now in a couple of weeks’ time.”
On the test posed by England up next, he added: “We’re going to have to be up there like we were today but it’s away from home and it’s against a team that are World Cup finalists.
“They are a top quality side and the last two times we’ve played England they’ve given us a right old spanking, so we need to up our game from those level of performances.”
Ireland will now travel to Twickenham after a weekend off to put their unbeaten start on the line as they attempt to keep their bid for the Grand Slam on track.
Their display against Wales impressed head coach Andy Farrell, who was keen to stress how much his side had improved from their narrow 19-12 win against Scotland a week earlier.
“It was an improved performance,” said Farrell. “The start was the complete reverse to last week, I thought Scotland attacked well and we were passive at the start last week.
“I thought we did exactly that in the first half [against Wales] so that was pleasing and I suppose the baseline from our point of view was that we were physical for the full 80 minutes.
“There were some moments last week, especially in the moments where we had to dig deep to win the game, but I thought we got that 100 per cent across the 80 minutes today.”
On his captain, he added: “He was in control, that’s what he’s done all his life – that’s what he does best. With the added responsibilities of captaincy, I think it’s added to his game actually.
“The meeting we had last night that was his meeting, it’s for him to do as he sees fit. The chat all week from the boys that he drags out of them is second to none.
“It brings that unity, it brings that honesty, that trust throughout the group. Having seen his last two performances, with last week after not playing for eight weeks, is nothing short of sensational.”