Ireland skipper Rory Best believes finishing the Six Nations with two wins has helped restore confidence before three daunting Tests in South Africa.
The Irish closed the championship with a 35-25 win over Scotland and their next international will be against the Springboks in Cape Town on 11 June.
"It was important for us to end with two wins," said Best, playing in his 50th successive Six Nations game.
"We will take the positives, especially from the past two weeks."
Ireland, 58-15 winners over Italy a week earlier, sealed a third-place finish.
Number eight Jamie Heaslip, who took over the captaincy when Best was replaced late in the second half, said: "We are very happy with the win and with where we have ended up in the competition. It is good to give the fame something to cheer for.
"At times it was a fast-paced game. There was a lot of competition around the breakdown.
"I think we got a little bit of faster ball than them, but they came back pretty hard in the second half. We didn't get too many opportunities in their half but I think we took them when we got them.
"We always knew they were going to come back hard. They have shown that in recent games and their form over the past 18 months.
"We took our chance when we got down there and we're very happy with the win."