Kelly Brown insists Scotland must leave nothing to chance against Ireland at Croke Park and be prepared for the hosts to be back to their best.
Scotland have lost both their opening matches in the RBS 6 Nations Championship on the back of desperately disappointing performances.
But Ireland were unconvincing in their 16-11 win over the Italians at the start of the month, and were then put to the sword by France in Paris, in the first 50 minutes of their Stade de France clash on February 9.
An astonishing fightback almost saw the Irish overturn a 26-6 deficit, only to lose 26-21.
That performance gave an illustration of how strong the Irish can be, even though a failure to reach the World Cup knock-out stages can be added to the list of their recent setbacks.
Eddie O’Sullivan’s men were expected to be among Europe’s leading contenders at the World Cup, and Brown recognises Ireland have not gone from being a formidable outfit to a team who will roll over meekly in a matter of months.
“It’s hard to say whether this is a good time to get Ireland,” said Brown.
“Every team in this competition can be dangerous on their day, and that is certainly the case with them.
“They have consistently been one of the leading teams in Europe in recent years, and they are a very complete team.
“They have a big set of forwards, a fast back row and their backs can be very dangerous when they are on fire - so we are expecting a thorough overall test.
“But we have confidence that we can get the win we need to generate a bit of momentum for the rest of the championship.”
On the form Ireland showed against Italy, Scotland would have viewed their trip to Dublin as a golden opportunity to get their season back on track.
After defeats to France and Wales, under-pressure head coach Frank Hadden’s side are in urgent need of a much-improved performance.
Brown admits the Scots will need to vary their play in an effort to get across the Ireland line for their first try of the campaign.
“We’ve got to mix it up a bit more because against Wales we were far too slow, all the time,” said the Glasgow Warriors man.
“Sometimes that is the way you want the game to be, especially when you are away from home and they are putting a bit of pressure on you.
“But you also have to be fast at times as well - because that is when you catch the opposition off-guard.
“It is about mixing and matching at the right times.
“That’s what we’ll be aiming to do on Saturday, because we believe in what we are trying to do – and we know that we are not far away from being the sort of team which can win matches like this one.”