Declan Kidney believes his strategy of empowering his players to adapt Ireland's tactics on the pitch is reaping dividends in the RBS 6 Nations.
Victories over France and Italy have planted Ireland at the summit of the table two matches into the championship with favourites Wales trailing on points difference.
In both games they had to think on their feet to overcome some stubborn resistance, displaying a hard-nosed attitude to winning that bodes well for their title aspirations.
And while some dazzling skills have yielded eight tries, Kidney's win-at-all-costs attitude means he would be content to scrape by on a single penalty.
“We can't be arrogant to think that we can just go out and impose our games on other sides,” said Ireland's head coach. “We are fairly intelligent and we have to change according to the conditions of the game.
“We adapted well against Italy after they made a good start. I like to see the players do something different when things don't go our way.
“We want to give the players different ways of playing and then let them decide out there what's the best option.
“During the course of every game there will times when you need to do something different.
“I'm delighted with the tries but I'm not snobby, I'd settle for a 3-0 win any day.
“If the tries come, great. That makes it easier and people enjoy playing more when you're scoring tries.
“But sometimes you have to win by picking off penalties. If that's what it takes, then that's what it takes. That's what I mean about being smart.
“We have no right, with the numbers we have, expecting that we can just roll up and win. We have to be smart.”
Many outside the Irish camp had billed England as lambs to the slaughter when they arrive at Croke Park a week on Saturday, but those pre-tournament assumptions are now being reassessed.
Martin Johnson's side showed enough in their brave defeat to Wales to suggest Ireland can not expect to repeat their famous 43-13 rout of two years ago.
“I thought England improved 300% on the previous week against Italy,” said Kidney, the former Munster coach.
“It's important that under the new agreement with the clubs they have next weekend off.
“Martin and the rest of the team have the opportunity to improve in two weeks’ time.
“Ireland v England is the game you look forward to in a masochistic way because you know how good they are.
“The size of the challenge increases with what happened against Wales. They're hurting and looking for a target.
“It's great to be able to say we're in it at this stage. But experience from the Heineken Cup has taught me it's two games and that's it, nothing's been won yet.”