Bowe glad to get Irish eyes smiling
Tommy Bowe believes pride has been restored to Irish rugby following their 24-8 RBS 6 Nations demolition of England.
Ireland finished a frustrating championship in third place with a victory that demolished English hopes of completing their first Grand Slam since 2003. Bowe, who scored the first of his side's two tries, felt the tone was set in the opening exchanges when Ireland's scrum sent England hurtling backwards.
"We only had two wins coming into this match and we're a better team than that. We're also a better team than only having three wins," he said. "We've lost a few matches that we were disappointed about."
He added: "We weren't far off before but against England we played with an intensity and passion that the Ireland team is renowned for.
"We've scored tries in the last few weeks but maybe haven't played with the sort of passion and pride that Irish teams are renowned for.
"This game brought it out of us. You could tell that from the first five minutes. Winning that scrum really gave us a huge lift.
"It's just disappointing that we had to wait until the last game of the campaign to put in a full 80-minute performance, but it was a nice one to finish with."
Bowe admits Ireland were fired up by the injustice of their 19-13 defeat to Wales, a result effectively settled by a try that should have been disallowed.
"We didn't need words to be geared up for this match," said Bowe. "The disappointment of last week was pretty big and we knew that having England at home was going to be massive.
"We haven't had the best record since the Aviva opened and this will be a new start. Now we want to turn it into a fortress."