Ian Gough has warned discipline is crucial if Wales are to emerge from their clash with Ireland at Croke Park with the Triple Crown.
The second row has started all of Wales’ wins against England, Scotland and Italy, which sees them sit at the top of the RBS 6 Nations Championship table.
But he has warned his team-mates that if their discipline does go astray the boot of Ronan O’Gara could be the difference between the sides.
Gough, who was part of the last Wales team to win in Ireland in 2000, said: “Discipline is massive.
“We have got to keep in sight of them on the scoreboard, because if they get into and early lead and O’Gara keeps the scoreboard ticking it’s going to be a difficult afternoon.
“If we let them get into a lead like that the game will run away from us. Because they will make you pay for every little mistake.”
Wales head to Ireland after a 47-8 victory over Italy, but Gough insists the scoreline did not give a flavour of how difficult the five-try victory was.
“Italy was pretty tough game. There was a pretty high ball in play time and it was close on 40 minutes,” Gough said.
“Don’t take anything away from the Italians - they really made us work hard for 50 minute - and Warren told us to keep working so we eventually managed to break them.
“And like the other two games we were pretty strong going into the last 10 minutes. We will have to go up another level this weekend against Ireland.
“I’ve never played at Croke Park but I’ve heard a lot about it. It’s got a nice big wide open pitch and it’s got a much bigger capacity so there will be a lot more volume.
“Ireland have beaten Italy as well and they are on a bit of a run at the moment. They had a good win against Scotland and they are getting back to something like the form they would want.”
At the heart of Ireland’s performance, according to Gough, is the experience of their forwards.
“The Ireland pack has been together for a long time," he said. "They haven’t had that many changes and they are proven players who time and time again put in the performances.
“And the Irish locks like Paul O’Connell and Donncha O’Callaghan have a massive work ethic and just keep going.
“It’s a big task – they are playing well at the moment and they have got confidence but I enjoy going to Ireland. It’s always a big battle and a big test to face up to.”
On his own displays, Gough added: “I’m pretty happy with my own form but there are always parts of your game you want to work on.
“You are always glad when selection is read out and your name is in there, and you obviously feel for the boys whose names aren’t read out because everyone is vying for a place and get that jersey.
“I often have to ask the other boys who else is in the team because you are concentrating so much on your own name being called out.
“Nothing is guaranteed at the moment. I thought Duncan (Jones) played well the first two games and then Gethin (Jenkins) came in.”