Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan is taking solace in his side's consistency despite the disappointment missing out on the RBS 6 Nations title again.
Ireland have finished runners-up for five of the last seven championships but O'Sullivan remains level-headed, especially in light of how quickly the landscape can change.
'I'd prefer to come first but I'd rather be second than third. This championship can go different ways,' he said.
'Wales won a Grand Slam two years ago, and deservedly so, but on Saturday faced a dogfight with England not to get the wooden spoon. It's a slippery slope.
'Of course I'm disappointed but you do your best and that's it. You have to be philosophical, especially when things become out of your control.
'Once we'd lost to France we knew this scenario was in the offing and all we could do was keep going out and winning.
'That's what we did but it wasn't enough to take the title.'