Following Ireland’s crushing defeat by France in Paris, coach Declan Kidney said that failure was not caused by falling but by not getting up again after a fall.
And as the satisfaction of a third Irish triumph in four Twickenham visits sank in, the mastermind of this latest success ventured: “It’s how you respond to adversity. We met a bit of adversity when we were over in Paris but today was a day when our defence stood up. We didn’t give too many chances.
“The other side of that is that we managed to take most of our chances. We missed a few kicks, but they were difficult kicks.”
Kidney is not a man much given to humour in dealing with the media; more stand-off than stand-up. But on this occasion his post-match mood was somewhat lighter than usual.
It may well have had something to do with the fact that his side managed to beat opponents who had a remarkable 71% of both possession and territory, were awarded 14 penalties whilst conceding only six and forced Ireland to make nearly three times as many tackles as themselves, only to end up being outscored by three tries to one and 20 points to 16.
Reflecting on encounters between the countries, Kidney said: “As with all of our matches against England there wasn’t a whole lot in it. From an Irish point of view it seems that when we win, we win just about and when we lose we lose by a lot.”
When asked about the possibility of Ireland yet winning the Championship in the unlikely event of Martin Johnson’s team beating France in Paris on March 20, he quipped: “We’d always wish England well, you know.”
Then reverting to type he went on: “No, you go into a tournament and take each game as it comes. We’ll keep doing what we’ve always done.
“We’ve a huge test coming up next against Wales. They’ve shown extraordinary resilience in coming back in three matches and I don’t think they’ll be as generous with us.”