There was a lovely moment between Joe Schmidt and Dylan Hartley after Ireland's victory 4 years ago

There was a lovely moment between Joe Schmidt and Dylan Hartley after Ireland's victory

Maybe this Dylan Hartley lad isn't so bad after all...

Peter O'Mahony may have left the pitch before the final whistle to get a Head Injury [concussion] Assessment but he was in top spirits for the celebrations.


Jordan Larmour, who filled in at outside centre for the final 15 minutes of Ireland's win over England, revealed O'Mahony was leading the dressing room celebrations. The post-match drinks were fitting of a St Patrick's Day victory - Guinness and champagne.

Garry Ringrose scored Ireland's opening try in the 24-15 win, at Twickenham, but he missed out on a couple of drinks. "I was in for drug testing after the game," he told us. "I missed the start of it but it was great to be there for the lap of honour. My parents are here and my girlfriend too."

Johnny Sexton, Keith Earls, Bundee Aki and O'Mahony all left the fray with knocks but Schmidt downplayed that after the match.


"They're very exuberant right now... Johnny and Bundee, they were bouncing around. The ones that came off early had the most energy to celebrate, I think."

Post-match is always an odd affair in the mixed zone. The victors are the ones in demand while the vanquished ones shuffle in and out with an almost apologetic gait.

It was strange to see Dylan Hartley [below] and Chris Robshaw - two men who have captained England with distinction - getting shunned by the majority of the press corp while the likes of Larmour, Ringrose and Jacob Stockdale were centre of attention.


There was a lovely moment, though, amid the madness.

I was stood in a tight corridor in a huddle around Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt. As he spoke about poetry, courage and proudest moments, Hartley had to shuffle past. He caught Schmidt's eye and joked:

"You still going, are you?!"

"Just about," Schmidt remarked.


The England captain paused and gave Schmidt a thumbs up and got an appreciative nod in return.

Schmidt continued on with the Irish media while Hartley went out to face the local, English press and try to explain how his side went from 2017 champions to fifth place a year later.

Sometimes there is a fine line between victory and defeat but not for Hartley and England today. Still, he took his loss with remarkable grace and so did Eddie Jones.

"Ireland fully deserved their win today," he said. "I've been impressed with them all championship."