Robbie Henshaw said CJ Stander's impending retirement factored into the emotional pitch Ireland were able to reach as their Guinness Six Nations campaign ended with a resounding win over England at the Aviva Stadium.
Tries from Keith Earls and Jack Conan along with 22 points from the boot of Johnny Sexton saw Andy Farrell's side record their best performance of the campaign.
It also marked Stander's 51st and final cap ahead of his retirement at the end of the season and speaking after the 32-18 win, Henshaw said his long-time Ireland team-mate's momentous day was a motivating factor.
"We finished on as high a note as possible for a number of reasons - for CJ mainly. He's offered so much to this team," he told Virgin Media.
"Secondly for the fans at home who can't be here, we wanted to give them something good to cheer about from the couch.
"And for us as a collective. We were unbelievably disappointed with the opening two games and we were almost there, just a few different things cost us.
"But for us, it's all about showing the heights we can hit when we're on and showing where we can go down the line in the future."
Henshaw, who has been one of Ireland's more consistent performers in the 2021 tournament, added that the identity of the opposition also played a part in fuelling the desire for victory.
"It was a massively emotional performance as I mentioned for those reasons and you're playing England at the end of the day so you have to be up for that," he said.
"It's one of the biggest games of the year for us with the history of the previous games and what a contest and always has been.
"Hopefully we showed it there today and it was a good performance from us."