Former Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan believes that Joe Schmidt's team don't really "need" to win in Cardiff next weekend, arguing that a good performance is all that's required to leave them in a good place for the rest of the World Cup year.  

Ireland have an opportunity to ruin Wales's Grand Slam party in Cardiff next Saturday, in the process becoming the first team to bust a Welsh Slam attempt on the final day since England did so in Twickenham in 1994.

Wales, however, rarely trip up in such circumstances on their own beloved patch. In 10 Grand Slam finales in Cardiff, Wales have only stumbled once, against France in 1988.    

Schmidt's side could theoretically still win the Six Nations next weekend but history suggests the prospect is extremely remote.

Should Ireland manage to derail the Welsh in Cardiff, their title hopes are still dependent on an injury-ravaged Scotland beating England at Twickenham, a feat the Scots have achieved only four times in the last 110 years, and not since 1983. 

The panel on RTÉ Sport's Against the Head didn't waste time contemplating the slim possibility of a title victory, instead focusing on Ireland's mindset and priorities this weekend. 

O'Sullivan, who coached Ireland to victories in Cardiff in 2003 and 2007, but in between saw his side fail to prevent a Welsh Grand Slam in 2005, argues that victory isn't essential for the visitors this weekend. 

"I've always worried about this game in Cardiff," O'Sullivan said on RTÉ2. 

"Wales, once they luckily got out of Paris, sensed a Grand Slam. And Wales rarely make a mistake when they sense a trophy, particularly at home.

"It's very hard to win in Wales in the Millennium Stadium on an average day but when it's a Grand Slam on the line, that makes it extremely difficult. 

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"I don't think we've to win. I think it's very hard to win next weekend. If we win, it would be fantastic. It'll be a great achievement considering where we were before the weekend. 

"But if it's a very good display, a very good game and it's a one-score game either way, I think that gets us a lot closer to where we want to be.  

"I don't think it all hangs on the win. It's how we play." 

Wales' rather shaky 18-11 win over Scotland in Murrayfield on Saturday extended their winning run to a record 13 games. 

But ex-Ireland hooker Bernard Jackman sees enough imperfections in the Welsh setup, citing their failure a single bonus point in any of their four victories. 

"Wales are obviously on a massive winning run but their attack hasn't really been flying," he said.

"No bonus points in this competition. In November, a lot of their wins were based around penalties. 

"We have to find weaknesses in that defence. I think we'll kick for goal if we get opportunities rather than kick to the corner."