Few players mirror Ireland’s up and down 2017 Six Nations campaign quite like Iain Henderson.
Like the team, the versatile Ulster man finished in style, his try the only in the game as Ireland concluded the campaign with a 13-9 over Grand Slam-seeking England to secure second place in the table.
The lock put in a huge effort over the 80 minutes, the only game he started and finished, but it has been a topsy-turvy campaign from a personal point of view.
The 25-year-old was picked to start alongside Devin Toner in the opening round defeat in Murrayfield, and while he was on the scoresheet on that occasion also, he struggled to impose his physical game in Edinburgh and was left out of the match-day squad for the subsequent trip to Italy.
He came on at around the hour mark against France and Wales, before getting the nod from Joe Schmidt for the tournament finale against England.
Despite having little to play for in terms of silverware, Henderson told RTÉ Sport that the squad was full of motivation for England's visit.
“We needed to prove to ourselves, the coaches, the fans, everyone that you don’t become a bad team overnight, you don’t become a bad team after a couple of defeats,” he said.
“It was key that we went out there and really stepped our game up, which we did.”
“All we could do was try to go out and beat England, make sure that they didn’t get the Triple Crown, the Grand Slam and the record"
While their own title aspirations fell by the wayside in Edinburgh and Cardiff, Henderson says the chance to deny the visitors another clean sweep was enough to fuel their own desires for a win.
“After Wales our championship was gone and we only had the England game to look forward to. I think the boys went out there and gave a great display,” he said.
“I thought we really took it to them, and that’s all we could do after the defeat in the Principality Stadium.
“All we could do was try to go out and beat England, make sure that they didn’t get the Triple Crown, the Grand Slam and the record.”