And although Wales crossed for three second half tries themselves, Alex Cuthbert, Leigh Halfpenny and Craig Mitchell all on the score sheet, it proved to be too little too late.
Here's what Warburton had to say straight after the final whistle:
"We always emphasise the point in every test match that it's important to start well.
"In the first half we were poor for the first 20 minutes, Ireland came out flying and we didn't.
"We wanted to come out in the second half and get points first but we let in a soft try within the first five minutes and that cost us.
"It's very hard to pinpoint why. We'd have to have a look at things but you have to start well and the boys were pumped up in the changing room.
"I think some credit needs to go to Ireland, they came out well and made it very difficult for us. There were some soft penalties we gave away and a lot of territory and possession.
"Walking around the hotel this morning everybody was very upbeat and you can't wait to get started in the Six Nations. There was no lack of confidence at all.
"Records are there to be broken. We'll never give up and we go away to France now. Obviously it's a very tough match but we'll look forward to it."