Ronan O'Gara has revealed Ireland began plotting their path to the Grand Slam immediately after dispatching France in the RBS 6 Nations opener.
In public, the Irish camp steadfastly refused to look any further than the next match and were reluctant to discuss the clean sweep even during the build-up to Saturday's gripping 17-15 victory over Wales.
But O'Gara admits the greatest prize in European rugby was thrust on to the agenda as soon as they had edged France 30-21 - their first win over Les Bleus since 2003.
"I remember being in a huddle before the Italy game and I told us to go on and win the Grand Slam," said the Munster fly-half.
"We started talking about it after the France game. We hadn't beaten them for six years so we knew this was a good opportunity. Once they were out of the way, the boys felt confident.
"We knew it would be tough in Cardiff but the boys were a little bit surprised at how little Wales played."
A nail-biting RBS 6 Nations title decider of ferocious intensity was decided in the dying minutes at the Millennium Stadium when O'Gara landed a drop-goal.
Wales had one last chance to deny their Celtic rivals a first Grand Slam since 1948 but Stephen Jones' long-range penalty fell agonisingly short.
The stand-off is happy that he and his provincial colleagues have dismissed the notion that they cared more about playing for Munster than their country.
"Maybe in Ireland people thought the Munster players didn't commit as much to the Irish jersey as they did to the Munster jersey - but I'm so happy that's gone now," said O'Gara.
"The Wales game meant everything - and it's one of the best, if not the best, moment in my career.
"The fellas in this team have massive mental belief in themselves. People go on about skill and physicality but that victory was about mental belief.
"We were 6-0 down at half-time and under pressure but we tore into them in the second half.
"It was a refusal to lose. Fellas wouldn't have come off the pitch until they'd won."
England Under-18 head coach John Fletcher insists his young side will be better for the experience after beating Italy in the bronze final to round out their 2015 Rugby Europe U18 Championship campaign in style.