Ryan Jones said Wales gave it everything they had at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday as they desperate sought a 13 point winning margain to retain the RBS Six Nations Championship.
With a 6-0 half time lead, it looked as if Jones et al would do the impossible and deny Ireland their first Grand Slam for 61 years.
Two second half tries in the space of 60 seconds suddenly put Ireland eight points in the lead, and from that moment Wales were always playing catch up - until a brilliant Stephen Jones drop goal put Wales ahead with just three minutes to play.
But Ronan O'Gara had ideas of his own, he lined up a drop goal with just two minutes remaining and skipper Jones said: "From the moment he kicked it, I thought it was over.
"We gave everything and you can't question the heart or composure this team showed to come back.
And with seconds left on the clock, Wales had a long-range penalty to win the match. And despite Gavin Henson attempting a 57 metre kick earlier in the game, Jones says that Stephen Jones was the right choice to kick at goal.
"There was no mention of Gavin kicking the penalty," he said. "Stephen stepped up to the plate and fancied a crack and he wasn't a million miles off.
"We put our heart and soul into this game and to come so close at the end is very tough to take. But we will have to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off to fight another day."
Wales boss Warren Gatland said: "As far as I'm concerned, the best two teams in the competition were playing here.
"It doesn't matter whether you finish second or fourth, it's all about winning any competition you go into.
"I've already admitted the changes for Italy cost us in terms of points. We're only fourth on points difference, though this defeat hurts."
He added: "The 14 points we conceded in those six minutes hurt and cost us the game. We thought Mark Jones had called a mark in the build up to the first try, but neither the referee nor touch judge heard him and Ireland ended up scoring. But the lineout just didn't function and put us under a lot of pressure."
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams looks back on the Rio Sevens success where he helped GB win silver. He believes the successful campaign is a huge boost to his Welsh squad as they prepare for another World Series, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
Last week all roads led to Eugene Cross Park where defending champions Ebbw Vale hosted this season's launch of the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie was there to capture the thoughts of Damien Hudd, captain of Ebbw Vale, and WRU Head of Performance, Geraint John.
Llandovery made it three in a row when they defeated Aberavon in the final of the National Foster's 7s at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday. On another eventful day of sevens, Newport claimed the Plate and the Dragons won the women's crown
Last week saw Cardiff welcome players from around the world for the 21st Golden Oldies Festival. The tournament features players over 35 years of age, and this year's event saw a select few represent the WRU in a 'friendly' against the Wooden Spoon.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.