After all the build-up, analysis and pondering ahead of an Aviva Stadium showdown with the old enemy, it all came down to two things: heart and passion.

That was the verdict of the RTÉ panel after Ireland's pulsating defeat of England in Dublin that denied their opponents back-to-back Grand Slams and a record 19th consecutive Test win on the bounce.

"All week everyone was writing, 'this Irish team will need more than passion'," Brent Pope said.

"Well today actually they didn't. Sometimes it just comes down to pure ticker, pure heart, just going at England. You wave a white jersey in front of any Irish man and it's just s**t or bust!"

Shane Horgan echoed those sentiments, praising the huge commitment the hosts displayed against their vaunted rivals: "Today we saw bottle and heart and passion unbridled. That's all that was needed today. There was some element of skill, some element of accuracy but that wasn't the dominant theme here.

"There's something that happens to players when their backs are against the wall and there's something that happens to Irish people when they see an English jersey in front of them. That manifested in a  really physical, dominant, dogged performance."

Eddie O'Sullivan was perplexed by the performance of with Eddie Jones's men, which he felt was flat and lacked the expected intensity.  

"It was a huge performance," he said. "I thought England looked very insipid right throughout the game. I thought they were incredibly slow to try anything. It is very difficult to string five matches together because the tournament is so finely balanced."