Ireland winger James Lowe won't be paying much attention to any criticism of his defensive input after a clutch tackle in the final minutes of Saturday's 29-20 win over world No. 1 New Zealand.
Andy Farrell's side weathered a storm at the Aviva Stadium to come up with the win following scores from Lowe, along with Leinster team-mates Ronan Kelleher and Caelan Doris.
It's the third time in five meetings that Ireland have got the better of their southern-hemisphere rivals, and it just so happened to come with three New Zealand-born talents in their starting XV.
Lowe is highly touted going forward with the ball, but the 29-year-old has encountered criticism of his defence in the past, both for club and country.
He won't stand for that talk anymore, however, after it was his rush out of the line to wrap up New Zealand centre Rieko Ioane that led to a titanic turnover in the 72nd minute:
“You b********s always talk about my [defence], and I got up and I whacked Rieko and we got the turnover from it," he told Channel 4 after Saturday's special win.
"I don’t care about that first try, I don’t care about anything. It was that moment, to do everything I’ve been doing in the last six or seven months in the 70 minutes, that’s what I’m happy about.”
As significant as the win was for all of Ireland, it will have held special significance to New Zealand natives Lowe, Jamison Gibson-Park and Bundee Aki.
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Each among that trio enjoyed moderate Super Rugby success but have cemented themselves as stars in Ireland, particularly since coming to feature for their adopted national team.
“It's amazing. Never in a million years did I think this day would come," Lowe said before acknowledging his old desire to pull on New Zealand's black.
“Since a kid I dreamed of being an All Black. That's just a very Kiwi thing to do. I gave up that dream. I wasn’t quite good enough when I was at my best.
"But to be able to put in a performance against the best team in the world, they are the standard-bearers, words can’t describe it. To hear my native country's national anthem, to stand in front of the haka – it’s a childhood dream."
Dreams don't get much better than Saturday's come-from-behind win, where Ireland trailed 10-5 at the break before coming back with a vengeance.
There were serious doubts over Lowe's Ireland future after he was exposed in defeat to Wales at this year's Six Nations, but the player appears content with the improvements he's made in that area.
And for good reason, too, after his tide-turning impact against heady opposition, leaving Lowe on a new career high.
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