Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll was surprised by the emotion of the occasion on winning his 100th cap in Saturday's Six Nations win over Wales.
"It was a different game, a different feeling. Probably more emotional than I thought it would be but it was a fantastic feeling," he told a news conference.
O'Driscoll, who made his debut as a 20-year-old in Australia 11 years ago, celebrated by helping the Irish keep alive their slim hopes of retaining the title with a 27-12 win over an undisciplined Welsh side at Croke Park. [ID:nLDE6281KK]
"It's a massive, massive honour for me to have played for my country 100 times and the reception on the way out was just an extra on winning the game today. I'd have passed up all of that just for the win though."
The twice British & Irish Lions tour captain, who has scored more tries, 38, than any centre in the game, commended his team for playing smart rugby and clinically taking their chances.
Ireland capitalised on the silly first-half sin-binning of Wales fullback Lee Byrne and the 31-year-old O'Driscoll said quick tries from scrumhalf Tomas O'Leary and wing Keith Earls proved their ability to turn it on when it matters.
"When they went a man down, we upped the tempo, went after them and played a lot of rugby and they struggled to live with us for that ten minutes in particular."
"I think we controlled things well in that aspect and we just played a smart game. We didn't try to play too much rugby but when the opportunities arose we weren't afraid to throw it around."
Champions Ireland need top-of-the-table France, whom they lost heavily to last month, to suffer an unlikely loss against Italy or England and make up ground on the points difference to stand a chance of retaining the championship.
O'Driscoll noted Ireland had given themselves an "outside chance" of the title but a possible fifth triple crown in seven years would be more than just a consolation prize.
Victory at home to Scotland next week would secure that honour and, despite winning the last eight Six Nations games against the Scots, he said another win was far from certain.
"It's far from a foregone conclusion if people are thinking that. In all the times I've played against Scotland, they've never ever made it easy and I anticipate it will be as hard as a lot of our games in the Six Nations in recent years," he said.