2018 Six Nations Champions Ireland show how far they have come under Joe Schmidt

Joe Schmidt brought Ireland from nearly-men when he took over in 2013 to believing nothing is beyond them including the Rugby World Cup. David Rogers/Getty Images

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has added his third Six Nations championship to the IRFU trophy cabinet but the genius of the Kiwi coach has his adopted nation dreaming of what may come at next year's Rugby World Cup.

After a spell as assistant coach with the Blues in New Zealand, Schmidt came to Europe with a point to prove. He may not admit it, but as the dream of every New Zealand player is run out for the All Blacks, the fairytale for each coach is to lead them.

After helping Clermont Auvergne to a Bouclier de Brennus as league champions, he made Leinster European kingpins before his biggest test as head coach of Ireland.

Since his 2013 appointment he has instilled a belief in Ireland, transforming them from frequent one-match wonders to consistent title contenders. That five-year tenure and that meteoric rise is epitomised in two periods of possession.

Three games into his tenure, he brought Ireland to the cusp of ending their monumental wait for a win over the All Blacks. Half a minute remained, Ireland were in possession when Jack McGrath took the ball into contact. Ireland conceded the penalty just past the New Zealand 10-metre line. A minute and 50 seconds and 36 Kiwi touches of the ball later, Ryan Crotty touched down. Aaron Cruden struck from the left touchline to earn a victory that left the home crowd silent. The pivotal, match-clinching gap between the world's best and Ireland was made clear and it came down to one word: composure.

Joe Schmidt would speak about "learnings". The term has been used ad nauseam to the point of eye-rolls after each game. But the "learnings" were clear for all to see four and a half years later, when Ireland visited France last month on the first weekend of this year's Six Nations. Ireland had given away a penalty at the scrum and Anthony Beallau lined up a kick at goal that would edge Les Bleus' lead to four points.

Same-old, same-old. Nearly never won anything after all. Gutsy performance, but Ireland were beaten. Weren't they?

The penalty was fluffed as the clock hit 77:20 but come on, a 22 drop out probably giving possession back to France. Wouldn't it?

As Sexton's restart was gathered by Iain Henderson, 10 seconds were eaten off the clock. Even the most ardent Irish supporters were still grumbling of what might have been, another Six Nations in which ambitions were ended in round one.

But this was their All Blacks moment, almost five years in the making. Forget 36 errorless touches in under two minutes. As Sexton gathered Murray's pass for touch 103, five glorious minutes and 10 seconds of error free play had taken place. His drop goal from near halfway was good, and the championship had turned decisively in Ireland's favour.

On and off the field it is the Schmidt show. Every aspect of the Ireland in camp is under his remit, from the player access granted to media, which has been declining since his appointment, to how the players keep what happens during Ireland camp, in Ireland camp. If not, there are consequences.

Yes, he's ruthless. As with previous managements, the stories will likely trickle out as players retire and disclose what went on behind closed doors in corporate speaking events to the laughter of audiences.

But when his tenure finally comes to an end, the accolades he's won are counted and he likely heads to New Zealand to begin his pathway to becoming All Blacks coach, he will be the one who turned the nearly-men of Ireland into kings of Europe.