Hooker Rory Best has confessed Ireland are sore from the disappointing conclusion to their RBS Six Nations campaign.
Declan Kidney's men, who were succeeded as Grand Slam champions by France, could not fulfil their Triple Crown ambitions as they fell to a 23-20 loss against Scotland on Saturday.
It was a frustrating way to mark their last match at Croke Park and Ulster forward Best admits his side are nursing their wounded pride.
"We wanted to finish off our time at Croke Park with a big result and big performance, winning a Triple Crown," said Best.
"We obviously fell short and we're very, very disappointed. Any time there's a match to be won, especially at home when there's silverware on the line, we want to win it.
"We want to win every game. Afterwards in the changing room there were 22 bitterly disappointed men.
"We're very competitive and pride ourselves on winning things and performing when it counts. Against Scotland we didn't do that."
Ireland endured a dismal afternoon at the lineout that was key to their downfall, losing seven out of 17 on their own throw, and Best made no excuses for his own uneven contributions.
"Sometimes you have to hold your hand up and say it was a poor day. I didn't throw particularly well," he said.
"Things have gone well in the last two or three games and we've had plaudits. Now it's time to take the criticism.
"Scotland are a fantastic team and they played very well, putting a lot of pressure on us. At the same time we pride ourselves on our lineout and against them it fell well short of the standards we have set."
Best believes the competitive nature of the Six Nations serves as perfect preparation for the World Cup in New Zealand next year.
"This Six Nations has been all about fine lines," he added.
"In that regard it's a very tight competition so it's great preparation for the World Cup.
"You need the sort of tournament where if you're not on your game you'll get beaten."