Two pieces of magic stood out during the rampaging first half by Ireland which helped blow the Grand Slam champions, Wales, away in their own back yard 30-22.
Brian O’Driscoll’s beautiful pass in the 11th minute which led to the opening try for Simon Zebo.
And then the Munster winger’s audacious bit of skill when he flicked a pass behind from Jamie Heaslip up into his hands with his left boot.
It led to prop Cian Healy eventually going over for a try in the ?? minute, and virtually killing off any Welsh return to the game.
The mix of old (O’Driscoll 121 caps) and new (Zebo four caps) paid off for Ireland coach, Declan Kidney.
The Greens boss came in for some criticism during the week on his selection, particularly going for Sean O’Brien at openside and starting Peter O’Mahony at blindside with no spot for Chris Henry.
It was felt the backrow would not be able to compete against the Welsh.
Indeed, how the set piece would go against the Welsh was also a concern.
The critics were answered and in some fashion.
Five scrums from six won and nine lineouts from 11 won. Fine returns from a wonderful game of rugby.
It was a game of two halves, Ireland winning the first 23-3 with a great Wales rearguard coming back to win the second 17-7.
The Irish defence in the second half was as superb as their attack was in the first.
A confident side struck the opening blow after 11 minutes courtesy of sublime brilliance from O’Driscoll.
His ability to freeze the opposition defence surfaced in all its glory, with three Welsh defenders transfixed as he teased them before delivering a scoring pass to Zebo.
Zebo took the plaudits through scoring a try on his Six Nations debut, but O’Driscoll once again showcased breathtaking ability at the highest level, with Sexton’s conversion making it 7-0.
A Sexton penalty after 20 minutes extended the lead, and even when Wales occasionally moved into Irish territory their efforts were undone by a handling error or by choosing the wrong option.
And Ireland did not require a second invitation to make Wales pay, cutting them open again midway through a hopelessly one-sided affair.
The outstanding Rory Best charged down Wales fly-half Dan Biggar’s kick, and after skipper Jamie Heaslip linked slickly in midfield, Zebo’s stunning flick off the back of his shin to hand enabled the move to continue.
It then needed a degree of patience from Ireland, but they handled things superbly in the build-up and Healy burrowed over from close range.
Sexton converted and then added another penalty, giving Ireland a 20-point advantage after 29 minutes and effectively sealing victory with indecent haste.
Halfpenny belatedly opened Wales’ account with a penalty, but Sexton cancelled that out before the break as Ireland trooped off 23-3 ahead.
Wales had no option but to throw caution to the wind after the break. Ireland, though, had other ideas, and O’Driscoll crossed from close range for his team’s third try.
Sexton added the extras, and there was only a hint of consolation for Wales when Cuthbert scored his sixth Test try eight minutes into the second period, with Halfpenny’s conversion making it 30-10.
Wales scored two further tries through Hafpenny and Mitchell - but Ireland were down to 14 men on both occasions Best and Murray in the bin and there was never any fear they were going to let what was now an eight point advantage slip.
Ireland owed Wales one - they certainly did it in style.