Johnny Sexton says Ireland produced the performance they wanted to against a top side but stressed the need for consistency.

Many will ask why Ireland didn't produce the goods earlier in the tournament but this Six Nations victory over England went a long way to answering some questions about the direction of the team under Farrell.

"It was brilliant," Sexton told RTÉ Sport after the 32-18 win

"It was the performance, apart from the first five or 10 minutes, that we wanted to produce against one of the real top sides. 

"We feel that England, with the results they've had over the last number of years would be up there with the best sides in the world.

"We wanted to put in a performance. We worked hard over the last eight weeks and we felt that we weren't too far away.

"We said these things and I think maybe you guys [media] didn't listen to us.

"But we felt we weren't too far away and I think it all came together in parts, there's still stuff we can get better at and we need to keep getting better. 

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"We set a standard in some things today and we need to keep getting better for next November or a summer tour, it's hard to know what's next and then into next year's Six Nations.

"We have to keep getting better and now we have to strive for consistency. 

"It's hard to know and into next year's Six Nations.

"The fact that we wanted to do ourselves justice for the work that we had put in... was a huge motivator. We've got coaches that motivate us incredibly well every week. Obviously CJ [Stander's] last game was a big one.

"The big driver for me was getting the win that we felt we deserved, the performance that we felt we deserved." 

Asked what the difference between the side they faced today and the Ireland team that they had comfortably beaten four times in a row, flanker Tom Curry (above) said: "Just clinical. The last few times we played Ireland it was about that physicality, I thought we were there in the first 20 and in the last 20.

"In between we didn't stay consistent enough with how we wanted to play.

"Credit to them, they stayed clinical and direct. They played how they wanted to." 

Watch highlights on Against the Head on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player, 8pm Monday.