An emotional Devin Toner highlighted the impact made by defensive coach Andy Farrell after Ireland claimed a first Test win in South Africa despite being down to 14 men for almost three quarters of Saturday's match in Cape Town.
Although Ireland started brightly at Newlands, the first-half dismissal of CJ Stander, for a dangerous challenge on Pat Lambie that concussed the Springboks fly-half, looked set to end any genuine hope of away success.
However, Joe Schmidt's side defied the odds to come from 13-10 down and secure a hugely significant 26-20 victory.
Man of the match Toner dedicated Ireland's triumph to his late father, Peter, who passed away prior to last month's Pro12 final, stating: "Can I just say, that's for Dad," at the post-match presentation.
Hailing the contribution of Farrell, who joined Schmidt's coaching team at the beginning of 2016, Toner said: "I think 'Faz' coming in has added a new dimension to our 'D [defence].
"We're getting off the line, we're trying to put hits in and thankfully it came off. The amount of homework we did came through."
Second row Toner was understandably delighted with Ireland's efforts, adding: "We know the 'Boks are an awesome side. They're a strong side, a big side, so we really needed to knuckle down and thankfully we did that.
"I'm really proud of everyone, to be honest. We really needed to dig deep."