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Ireland deserve all the plaudits

Adrenal glands all over the country were in overdrive on Saturday, pulses were racing and hearts were hammering at a rare rate of knots.

I blame Joe Schmidt for taking his team and the whole country on such a roller-coaster ride - there was no health warning, no parental guidance. My nerves are shot and the funny thing is, I enjoyed every second of it.

What an amazing man Schmidt is and what an outstanding set of players we are privileged to have. Back-to-back championships do not come around all that often, they are more scarce than a lunar eclipse.

But all the teams that played: Wales and England, Scotland France and Italy all went at it like hellfire. We had drama, artistry, and bloody mayhem for seven hours running. It was a fitting reward for a wonderful group of individuals who have given their all and lifted the spirits of the whole country.

ED TOAL

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