Peter Bills: Ireland now reaping reward for nurturing genius of O'Driscoll
It wasn't the perfect performance, far from it. Business-like and effective, another working day at the office perhaps, but the true sparks were comparatively few and far between.
Yet by the end of a cold, dry afternoon in Dublin, it had been close to the perfect day for Brian O'Driscoll. On the occasion of his 100th cap -- 'a massive, massive honour' he called it -- you could pick some holes in Ireland's collective performance, especially going forward, but not in O'Driscoll's contribution.
As has so often been the case, even if one element of his game was perhaps less than glorious on the day, others compensated magnificently. This time, while Ireland were less than convincing at times going forward despite their three tries, a quite superb defensive display underpinned this win, like steel bars in a concrete structure.