Johnny Sexton believes Ireland can now intention even upper following the victory in opposition to England in Dublin that sealed a fourth grand slam within the country’s historical past.
Sexton showed he had performed his ultimate Six Nations fit having urged his facet to a 29-16 win. Ireland completed seven issues forward of second-placed France, whilst the 37-year-old was the document issues scorer within the match’s historical past, surpassing Ronan O’Gara’s document.
“This is a high point, but I hope it’s not the highest point,” Sexton mentioned. “Roll on the World Cup – that’s what we need to focus on now … This is part of the journey.
“It’s very special, like the series in New Zealand was very special … We need to keep our feet on the ground, keep building. There’s a lot of guys that have been injured who are going to come back and put pressure on the guys who’ve been playing.”
Sitting alongside Sexton the Ireland head coach, Andy Farrell, paid a glowing tribute to his captain. “It’s unbelievably fitting that in my opinion the best player ever to play for Ireland is able to sign off with a grand slam on St Patrick’s Day, in front of his home crowd,” Farrell mentioned. “A large number of stars that experience aligned over the last 8 weeks.”
Farrell said it was a strange feeling to have clinched a clean sweep and that he had felt a duty to deliver victory. “I have no idea whether or not to giggle, cry or be just a little unhappy,” Farrell said. “It’s a weird feeling. I’m just delighted for the boys to get it over the line. It means so much to them, especially being here [in Dublin]only the fourth grand slam in Irish history.
“It’s a special occasion… We felt a duty that we couldn’t let people down. It’s a sense of relief to get the job done. Immensely proud. Grand slams are not just won on nights like this – they’re won over the time that we’ve been together.”
Asked for his opinion at the determination to ship off Freddie Steward for a problem on Hugo Keenan, Farrell mentioned: “It’s the foundations, is not it? It’s unlucky however it is the regulations and I guess we have now were given to consider the folk [the officials] who see it for what it’s.
Sexton mentioned of the guests’ efforts seven days after being hammered at house by means of France: “Fair play to England, the way in which they became up, they have been truly just right. To soar again in that type from remaining week speaks so much about their captain and trainer. They made it difficult – and we made it difficult for ourselves. We may simply revel in it for 48 hours, and now not concern about it an excessive amount of.”