I think everyone in Ireland was disappointed by Sunday's defeat to England because we'd all dreamed of going on to bigger and better things in the Grand Slam decider. The Irish team have again progressed well through the tournament but I also believe we have learned some stark lessons. Clive Woodward's side were ruthless at Lansdowne Road and though some people thought the scoreline flattered them at the final whistle, I did not.
The English played very, very well but we didn't use our own possession as well as we could have, and that is something which we have to work on now in the build up to the World Cup. That's not to say we played badly - I actually though we played pretty well and we were still in the game for quite a long time. But in the end, the amount of pressure they were putting on us proved the difference. It really was an unbelievably good performance from England.
What is important is that Ireland have again progressed as a team, and now we want to take that step up to the next level. There are aspects of our game that we will want to work on so that if we came across England again tomorrow we would be able to match them.
I knew before Sunday's game that I wouldn't be playing because of my shoulder injury but it was still painful having to watch the match. The World Cup is coming up in October and I am now hoping that I will be fit to be part of the Ireland squad in Australia.