Tommy Bowe believes pride has been restored to Irish rugby following their 24-8 Six Nations demolition of England in Dublin.
Ireland finished a frustrating championship in third place with a win that wrecked English hopes of completing their first Grand Slam since 2003.
Bowe, who scored the first of his side's two tries, feels passion had been lacking until Saturday's stunning upset at the Aviva Stadium.
The Ospreys winger states the tone was set in the opening exchanges when Ireland's scrum sent England hurtling backwards.
"We only had two wins coming into this match and we're a better team than that. We're also a better team than only having three wins," he said.
"We've lost a few matches that we were disappointed about.
"We weren't far off before but against England we played with an intensity and passion that the Ireland team is renowned for.
"We've scored tries in the last few weeks but maybe haven't played with the sort of passion and pride that Irish teams are renowned for.
"This game brought it out of us. You could tell that from the first five minutes. Winning that scrum really gave us a huge lift.
"It's just disappointing that we had to wait until the last game to put in a full 80-minute performance, but it was a nice one to finish with."
Bowe admits Ireland were fired up by the injustice of their 19-13 defeat to Wales, a result effectively settled by a Mike Phillips try that should have been disallowed.
"We didn't need words to be geared up for this match," said Bowe.
"The disappointment of last week was pretty big and we knew that having England at home was going to be massive.
"It was our last game of the campaign and a few of our senior players said a few words that were very fitting to the week.
"We moved into Dublin early in the week and there seemed to be an atmosphere building, maybe because it was St Patrick's Day weekend.
"We haven't had the best record since the Aviva opened and this will be a new start. Now we want to turn it into a fortress.
"It was a very important win given this is our last competitive match until the World Cup.
"After the disappointment of losing to Wales last weekend it would have been very easy to hang our heads and go into the World Cup on bit of a downer.
"But a good performance against a good England team helps us move on."