In what the 36-year-old hooker said afterwards was his last Six Nations game at home, Best's try was the result of early, dominant work from his pack that continued throughout.
While the second half petered out somewhat, a Keith Earls try was enough to give Ireland the bonus point victory.
The hooker was visibly emotional during the national anthems, and barring a pair of late French tries to put a bit of gloss on the scoreline, it was the ideal afternoon for the Ulster man.
Rory Best scored a try in his final Six Nations game in Dublin. He even got on the scoresheet, giving his side an early lead after only two minutes.
"I think it's taken a while but there was a bit of our rhythm back today", said Schmidt.
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Cleveland opened up an 11-point lead early in the third period with Sexton and Zizic combining to score seven consecutive points. The Raptors are vying for an Eastern Conference win this season, as their team is second in the East now , with a 48-20 record.
We will go there knowing that we are getting a lot closer to how we want to play.
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt believes his players need to string together two halves like the one they managed in the first 40 minutes against France if they are to stand any chance against Grand Slam-chasing Wales on Saturday.
Still, simply ending Wales' national record winning streak at 13 matches will go a long way to further boosting confidence that was restored as soon as Best touched down in the corner.
"When you're playing, you start to get fixated with what's coming, or if you're playing well in this Six Nations you put yourself in the window for the World Cup".
If they are to retain the Six Nations, Ireland must not only beat Wales but hope that England fail to defeat Scotland at Twickenham.