Conor Murray is envisaging a tougher test against Wales on Saturday after edging Scotland in Ireland's opening Six Nations fixture.
Reigning grand slam champions Wales are next up at the Aviva Stadium and pose a stiff challenge for an Irish side that laboured at times against the Scottish before ultimately getting the job done.
Murray, who started that fixture before being replaced by John Cooney, is under no illusion that an improvement is required to overcome Wales in Dublin.
"It's going to be a tougher game definitely," he told RTÉ Sport.
"They're a game in and they probably had a little bit of rustiness like ourselves.
"We're definitely aware that we need to be better. They're the grand slam champions and they're going to be full of confidence.
"They're going to come to Dublin, not with no fear, but with a belief they can come here and perform and win.
"It's going to be another step up and that's the enjoyable, that's the challenging, exciting part.
The Ireland and Munster scrum-half added that there was "huge room for improvement" but that they "fully expect to be better" than in Saturday's tight win.
But overall, he was satisfied with the outcome after the Scotland game as Andy Farrell marked his first fixture as head coach with a gritty win.
"The most important thing was to get the win and get the tournament up and running as well as we could," he said.
"First test match out, I thought we did a lot of good things. I thought Scotland played really, really well.
"But that in turn made it quite difficult for us and it was a bit of an arm-wrestle at times.
"We showed a lot of grit, a lot of determination, especially towards the end, that defence on our line for a couple of minutes.
"It was a day like that with the breakdown being so hotly contested that we made it difficult for them and they made it difficult for us.
"There's plenty to be positive about but plenty of things we can look forward to getting right this weekend. The win was the most important thing."
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