You'd need to have a lot of credit in the bank to call Ireland’s bonus-point win at Twickenham "crap".

So Jamie Heaslip’s 100 international caps, three Six Nations’s titles, a Lions series win, over 200 Leinster appearances, three Champions Cups, a Challenge Cup, and three Pro12 titles just about entitles him to give such an opinion.

The former Ireland number 8 has played against England six times at the London venue, winning just once.

"Sometimes you play crap, right, you can’t help it, mistakes keep happening but quality sides still figure a way to win," he said after the 32-15 victory that keeps Ireland’s Guinness Six Nations title hopes alive.

"Lots of matches I’ve played in in my career have been bizarre," captain Johnny Sexton insisted, after checking that the question wasn’t referring to Manchester United’s Premier League win over Tottenham that was just coming to an end as his press conference started.

But the out-half would have been pressed to find an example of a game where his side racked up 19 handling errors, conceded almost double the number of penalties as their opponents (15 v 8), were penalised six times at scrum by a team with seven forwards and a winger, and still won by three scores.

"Two years ago we would have lost that game," he added, alluding to the progress made under Andy Farrell. He's not wrong there.

"We wouldn’t have the composure to regroup, this week we prepared and the mental resilience stuff we have put in has helped."

At various stages against Italy two weeks ago Ireland played against 14, 13 and 12 men and they actually spoke about the mental danger that comes with that scenario whereby players are over-eager and make decisions they wouldn’t make in front of a full defence.

That crept in again yesterday, after Charlie Ewels saw red in the second minute, and was compounded by poor passing, poor discipline, and a scrum on wheels.

"Sometimes, when you’ve got 14 men, you’ve nothing to lose, sometimes when you’ve got 15 playing against 14 you’ve everything to lose," said Farrell.

"We were a little bit desperate at times, inaccurate at times."

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At one point Peter O’Mahony, preferred to Jack Conan in the back row, spoke to referee Mathieu Raynal about "access" to the England lineout catcher, asking the French man to keep an eye on the lifters’ body positions. It’s what you want from a shrew operator like the Munster captain, but when Ireland got caught doing the exact same thing in the second half, it backfired.

"I’m a bit disappointed the referee didn’t allow us to scrum fully," was Eddie Jones’ main gripe and indeed had an Irish front row been sent to the bin, there would have be few complaints.

"That would be my only complaint – we were not allowed to play advantage away from the scrum. We got four scrum penalties and there was no sign of a yellow card.

"We want to have a powerful scrum and if World Rugby want to have the scrum in the game they have got to allow the strong scrums to dominate. We are disappointed we didn’t get more out of that."

When Marcus Smith levelled the game up in the 61st minute, things looked ominous for Ireland, but that was to be their last play.

The smelling salts appeared to work as Robbie Henshaw, Rob Herring and Jack Conan came to the fore.

"Key," said Farrell of his replacements. "We’ve got a good bench and we’ve said that all along. They came on and added, which is perfect."

Man of the match Jamison Gibson-Park said the win was "right up there" in terms of his career and that they had taken the lessons from defeat in Paris to get that much-needed big victory on the road under Farrell.

"It's obviously something we've spoken about as a team that great teams go away and win," said the Kiwi.

"We hadn't really done that. We had the disappointment of France and we knew how difficult it was going to be coming to Twickenham.

"I don't know whether it's a monkey off the back but we're delighted to get a big win away."

Ireland’s medical team will assess James Ryan during the week after the lock once again departed the field with a head injury.

Farrell said: "Obviously he couldn’t return to the field but he’s fine. He’s up and well and he’s celebrating with the lads. He’ll go through the protocols again."

The second row was Ireland’s best player in this fixture two years ago when few came out with much credit so the effect of his loss on the performance has to be taken into account too.

For all that, Ireland still have a ticket in the raffle.

If they can beat Scotland next Saturday they’ll require England to beat or draw with France in Paris to claim the title.

It won’t be easy for England and while their chance of lifting the trophy is gone, the prospect of finishing fifth for the second year in a row for the World Cup finalists, should be motivation. They won’t have Tom Curry and Kyle Sinckler must go through HIA protocols.

"I think England have a great chance, they always do," said Sexton when asked to appraise their upcoming game.

"England are England, one of the most dominant teams in world rugby, World Cup finalists and they’re re-building now but still beat Australia and South Africa recently.

"England can do a lot of damage next week."

England skipper Courtney Lawes, meanwhile, was taking solace from how his side coped after going a man down so early.

"I really think we showed today how much it means to be part of this team," said the flanker, pushed into second row duties.

"We didn’t give up for a second. We knew from minute two it was going to be pretty tough for us.

"But we had a lot of confidence going into the game and truly believed we could win that.

"Obviously it wasn’t to be today, towards the end we were pretty tired, I think. But class effort from the boys. I honestly couldn’t ask any more of them."

Once Ireland can keep up their end of the bargain by beating Scotland in Dublin, a feat they have achieved on all but one occasion in the Six Nations and that was back in 2010, they’ll hope that England can do them a favour.

"We'll be right," Jones said of the Paris match.

"We don't have a shortage of spirit. We'll get ourselves right and rip into France.

"You've got to set-piece well against them. The way they attack gives you opportunities to attack against them."