The crowd took a collective sharp intake of breath as if to brace themselves for the trail of destruction that was about to follow.
Down below on the Lansdowne Road pitch, the green jerseys didn't have time to do the same, because before they knew it, he had already ran over them.
This was Jonah Lomu in full flight. This was a player producing the kind of jaw-dropping moments that rugby hadn't seen before.
Six years after announcing his arrival at the 1995 World Cup, Lomu graced Dublin with his presence for what proved to be his one and only appearance in Ireland.
Those who were there that evening in 2001 still remember the buzz and excitement that was in the air, as the sport's most famous face came to town and showed flashes of his sensational ability.
Ireland already experienced first-hand the kind of damage Lomu was capable of inflicting, as at that World Cup in South Africa, the devastating winger ran riot and helped himself to two tries en route to a crushing 43-19 defeat.
Keith Wood remembers the game well.
"I can tell you this because it's true; we were dropping like flies and it looked like another back was going to go off," the former Ireland captain recalls.
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"Paul Burke was sitting on the bench with me and they said, 'Paul, you're up next.' And Paul said to me, 'I'm not going on, you go on instead!'
"Jonah was causing havoc. That was where he first came to attention.
"I was talking to a couple of the English guys after our game and they said they had a plan to deal with him.
"It was so unusual because plans for Jonah just did not have any hope of working because the second they had to deal with him, they couldn't."
England would indeed have no such luck in their semi-final meeting with the All Blacks as Lomu put on a frightening display of speed and power, as he scored a staggering four tries.
So, by the time 2001 rolled around, a very different Ireland team, led by Wood, knew exactly what to expect from the man-mountain.
Recognising his threat was one thing, nullifying it was another matter entirely.
"We said we would go and hit him hard by getting into the right position, but there weren't very many right positions to hit Jonah," Wood maintains.
"If you went high, he just knocked the s**t out of you. If you went low, he ran over you. His thighs were huge.
"That's kind of hard to understand because there are always big guys everywhere, and there were bigger guys than Jonah who played back then.
"But there wasn't anyone else who had his power and speed at the point of contact. And I don't think there has been anyone like him since."
Shane Horgan was tasked with going up against Lomu on the wing, and while he did a decent job, Lomu still had a huge impact on the game as he scored one try and created another for Aaron Mauger.
Malcolm O'Kelly and David Humphreys, who later spoke of Lomu's "mayhem", were the first to feel the brunt of the then 26-year-old, as he steamrolled the Ireland pair as if they weren't there.
They wouldn't be the only ones, however, as Brian O'Driscoll recalled some years later.
"I remember in that game being left one-on-one with him," he said.
"There was an inevitability about what was going to happen. I was only five or six yards out from the line and I knew that I was only going to be a road bump. Someone else was going to have to come in and finish the job off.
"Once they got the ball into Jonah's hands, against someone that was five foot ten, simple physics would tell you there is only going to be one winner."
That kind of sentiment was very much shared by most people who came up against Lomu in his prime.
Just ask current Ireland attack coach Mike Catt, who has never been allowed to forget how Lomu ran over him in that 1995 World Cup semi-final.
Wood also has his own war story from the Dublin game in 2001, which still rankles with him, not least because Ireland coughed up a commanding 21-7 second-half lead and were beaten 40-29 having conceded a whopping five tries, including one from Lomu, in the second period.
"I remember going to tackle him at one stage and I had him. I knew I had him and then he was ten yards behind me," Wood reflects.
"It was as if there was a force field around him. I definitely bounced off some part of him, but I had to watch the video back afterwards because I didn't know what part it was.
"He was so big, so fast, but it was his ability to win the contact battle. His body position on the hit always seemed to be really strong, which made him very difficult to stop."
That Eric Miller, who scored a late consolation try, can recall one particular tackle on Lomu, sums up just how tough he was to stop.
"I remember making a couple of tackles and just being happy with them," the former Ireland flanker says.
"If it was one of the backs going low, I remember a tackle with Shane Horgan and I went for his upper body and thinking I did a great job. He'd already sort of chopped the legs off him."
For Ireland, it was yet another hard luck story as the All Blacks heaped further misery on a nation, who by now were beginning to get used to the feeling.
A certain Richie McCaw made his international debut that same day, while recently departed Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek led the Haka.
It also proved to be Warren Gatland's last game in charge of Ireland, as the Kiwi ended his three-year spell on a disappointing note against his home country.
For everyone else who was in Lansdowne Road that night, the abiding memory is getting a chance to see Lomu on home soil before he sadly passed away in 2015 aged just 40, having battled with a serious kidney condition for much of his life.
Wood would cross paths with Lomu several more times before his untimely passing, but that night in 2001 was the only time the legendary pair shared the same Irish pitch together.
"I swapped jerseys with him after the game," Wood adds.
"We had two jerseys at that stage in case we got very wet - we would change it at half-time.
"I gave him one of them and then I packaged both of them together and sold them for charity. I was sad that I did then when he died afterwards.
"The guy was the first and I would say only global superstar we have ever had. He was a really good guy too.
"Jonah was such an extraordinary superstar. I mean, my God almighty - he was just unbelievable."