Ireland hooker Rory Best says Joe Schmidt has brought a ruthlessness to their game that has brought them up a level.
The Ulster man was singing his coach's praises after hearing that Schmidt has been suffering all day from suspected appendicitis during Ireland's 26-23 win over Australia today in the Aviva Stadium.
The win means Ireland have won their last seven games and has given Schmidt's men a clean sweep in the autumn internationals.
Best said: "There are a lot of great coaches out there, he'd certainly be one of the best coaches I've worked with. He just expects a high level from you and if you don't toe the line and if you don't come up to his tight standards then he finds someone else that will.
"It can be fairly ruthless but that's what you want to be, it's a ruthless level we are playing at.
"You are playing the best teams in the world, the best players in the world."
Best compared their performance today to their losing tests against Australia and New Zealand last year and saw definite signs of progress for Ireland.
He said: "You go back to 12 months ago and you make one small error and you lose the game, tonight we didn't.
"That is ingrained in us now. You stick to the system, you trust the guy to your right and the guy to your left and ultimately you have systems and protocols in place to win the game in tight situations."