Dublin - Ireland gave head coach Joe Schmidt and captain Rory Best the perfect farewell to home Tests at Lansdowne Road with their 19-10 win over Wales on Saturday putting them top of the world rankings for the first time.

Both men have overseen a purple patch in Ireland's rugby fortunes which has seen them collect two historic wins over world champions New Zealand as well as the 2018 Six Nations Grand Slam, only the third in the country's history.

Roars drowned out Best as he stepped up to speak after the match - the terrible performance in the 57-15 thrashing by England a fortnight ago forgotten after back to back wins over the Welsh.

"I told myself I would not get emotional," said Best, who was fighting back tears.

"It has been an unbelievable experience to play for Ireland and to go out with a performance to be proud of.

"The place (Lansdowne Road) has changed a bit since I first came here aged five!" added the 37-year-old hooker.

Schmidt, whose overall home record shows 28 wins from 34 matches with one draw and just five defeats since taking over in 2013, said it had been a privilege to coach Ireland.

"Rory has done a fantastic job," said the 53-year-old New Zealander.

"It has been  privilege to be involved with a great bunch of guys.

"It has been a heck of a ride."

Best - winning his 120th cap - had come under fire for his line-out throwing in the defeat at Twickenham and his early ones were not encouraging as the Irish lost their first two.

However, the Irish defence held its line well against persistent Wales attacks and when they finally gained meaningful possession they scored.

Man of the match James Ryan won a lineout, Conor Murray working it quickly to Jonathan Sexton. 

The flyhalf, playing his first game since June after dislocating his thumb, found Rob Kearney coming into the line and the veteran fullback burst over to touch down for his 14th try in 92 Tests.

Sexton converted for 7-0 after 22 minutes.

Worryingly for the Welsh, back-up flyhalf Rhys Patchell, who has had concussion issues, had to leave the field for an assessment after he took a blow to the head in a tackle on CJ Stander.

He did not return, leaving No 1 pivot Dan Biggar to take over.

Leigh Halfpenny reduced the deficit to 7-3 with a penalty in the 24th minute.

Sexton looked to have found his rhythm with a couple of sublime tactical kicks although he blotted his copy book when Dan Biggar intercepted a loose pass.

Biggar took off from his own half and seemed certain to score until Kearney, a player transformed from the one who struggled against England, had the presence of mind to get his arm under the ball to prevent Biggar from touching down.

Biggar sportingly told the referee Mathieu Raynal he had not scored but the Welsh only had to wait a couple of minutes as Hadleigh Parkes went over, taking out the French referee in the process.

Halfpenny converted to put the visitors 10-7 ahead after half-an-hour.

The Irish scrum had gained the ascendancy and pinned the Welsh inside their 22 at the outset of the second-half.

They were rewarded when prop Tadhg Furlong burrowed over in the 50th minute to put the Irish back ahead, Sexton's conversion making it 14-10.

That prompted Best to leave the stage for the final time at Lansdowne Road, a rueful smile on his face as the 50 000 plus crowd rose to their feet to acclaim the most successful captain in Ireland's history. 

The Irish added a third try when Ryan managed to ground the ball despite desperate Welsh defence - Sexton failed to convert but the hosts held on comfortably to seal the match 19-10.