Wales v Ireland, Six Nations 2019

Gareth Anscombe

Meanwhile, Stephen Ferris, who was on the Ireland team that beat Wales in the final match of the 2009 campaign to win the Grand Slam at the Millennium Stadium, says the sheer weight of what a victory would mean for the hosts can push them over the line.

Wales had set the points target earlier in the day before a rampant Ireland ripped through Scotland with two tries for Sean O'Brien as well as scores by Paul O'Connell and Jared Payne but Jamie Heaslip's try-saving tackle on Stuart Hogg proved crucial as England won against France but fell just short of Ireland's overall points tally.

Wales came from behind to beat France in the opening week, and were victorious against England in Round 3, but their nerviest win came last week where they had to survive a fightback from Scotland at Murrayfield.

But Schmidt insists they need to crank it up again if they are going to secure their first Championship win in Cardiff in six years. Beirne has been injured through this championship and although returning impressively for Munster; he was ruled out of the French game after experiencing difficulties in training last week, but Schmidt confirmed the turnover specialist is in his thoughts.

The New Zealander plans to step down after the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Best announced on Saturday that he would nearly certainly bring the curtain down on an illustrious career at the end of the World Cup.

"I don't know if Wales feel like they're invincible, they're saying that they've forgotten how to lose and all of that", Sexton said on Tuesday.

"In terms of a six-day turnaround, you can't really think too much about championships or anything else, we just need to turn our attention to Wales and we'll do that tomorrow (Monday) evening when we get back together in camp".

"He has an exceptional ability to get the boys up for what we are doing".

The four victories so far, part of a 13-game winning run, must add to the belief that a boisterous home crowd will see them home against Joe Schmidt's charges.

They had the bonus point bagged when Keith Earls raced away from a pre-planned move at a lineout.

Rory Best, right, with Ireland's World Team of the Year trophy, alongside World Player of the Year Jonathan Sexton.

There were two late tries for the French which took the gloss of the win, but Schmidt hailed the performance of his side overall.

"We'll give them the respect they absolutely deserve".

"They will be under pressure, but so will we. And also the cohesion". "I don't think Wales have played well this year but what they are is big, physical and fit and it will be a tough one." .

"If you become distracted at all then there's a risk that they won?t be replicated the following time you get out there and play".

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