It was not the way Ireland captain Rory Best wanted to sign off his Six Nations career as the men in green produced a disappointing performance to lose 25-7 to Wales in Cardiff.
Gareth Anscombe kicked 20 points - six penalties and the conversion of centre Hadleigh Parkes’ second-minute try - to sink Ireland in swirling rain under leaden skies on an afternoon when the visitors insisted the stadium roof remained open.
Ireland were washed away as Wales completed a first Six Nations clean sweep for seven years - a tournament record fourth Grand Slam - and landed their first Six Nations title since 2013, while also climbing above Ireland to second in the official world rankings.
Best said: “Wales had a cracking start. They bult into the game. They’re a very determinded side and hard to beat here.
“We couldn’t get footing in the game. Our set-piece wasn’t up to the standard that we expect. They put a lot of pressure on us and we struggled to respond.
“It’s been a very competitive Six Nations. We have to go and address why we lost. We’ve been inconsintent this championship and we’ll have to dust ourselves off and finish the calendar year strong.
“We can talk about the aftermath of this later on you have to give credit to Wales - they’re deserved Grand Slam winners.”