Rory Best gives class Tadhg Furlong answer when asked about standing ovation 11 months ago

Rory Best gives class Tadhg Furlong answer when asked about standing ovation

As modest as they come, but don't doubt his ferocity for a second.

Rory Best went into Ireland's clash against New Zealand with his place in the team being questioned, in some quarters. He ended the night with his second All Blacks scalp, as captain, in two years.

The Ulster hooker got his lineout throwing on point and was part of a scrum that monstered the All Blacks' pack and he forced the great Brodie Retallick into a costly knock-on. He had a couple of knock-ons himself but this was his best performance in the green jersey all year.

"When you’re a hooker you judge a lot of your performance around the line-out rightly or wrongly. It didn’t go as well as I’d like last week.

"For me it was - block out the pressure and go around doing what I do well for the team, trying to clean a few things and hit a few rucks and be there whenever the team needed. If everyone can do that, then that’s what gives you a good team performance."

Best and Tadhg Furlong were called ashore after 65 minutes and the home fans rose in unison to salute two men that had given it their all. Ireland were 16-9 to the good but it was now up to the replacements - Sean Cronin, Andrew Porter & Co. - to help see them home.

Best was typically modest when asked about that ovation. He commented:

"I thought that was maybe for Tadhg because he had an unbelievable day in the scrum." 

Asked where the Dublin victory over the world champions ranked, when compared to the 40-29 victory at Soldier Field, Best said, "They’re both firsts for us.

"It took a mighty effort to win tonight. They’re a fantastic side. Nine years as world number one and we knew it was going to take a mighty effort from us.

"I’m not going to say it feels better; it definitely doesn’t feel any worse.

"It’s hard to know what it feels like at the minute. You’re physically exhausted, but mentally you’re absolutely ecstatic. It’s another little bit of history that this squad has managed to etch out for itself."

This squad.

Best is not worried about his own legacy, he just wants to leave this Ireland squad in a better place than he found it. He has done that, and then some, but he is not finished yet.