Alun Wyn Jones admits the upcoming Test with Italy will be a big game for Wales after defensive shortcomings contributed to the defeat in Ireland last weekend.
Jones and co. conceded three tries, albeit with two of those scores coming with Lee Byrne in sin bin, but he says defence is an area that must be focused on in final match of a disappointing campaign for Warren Gatland and his players.
Official match statistics show Wales missed six tackles in the 80 minutes. That may not sound like much but the 91 per cent success rate that translates to, is unsatisfactory for the demanding second row.
"I am not sure what is going wrong in the defence," he said. "It is not the standard that we require, and it is very disappointing. It is not through want of trying - nobody goes out there on purpose to miss tackles."
He continued: "We have the systems in place, but they are not working because of missed tackles. We are missing one-on-one tackles at the moment. We had a lot of possession and territory, and that is what makes it all the more frustrating. We have under-performed in this championship. There is no doubt about that with the players we have got. Italy is a big game for us now - we have to pull our fingers out and lick our wounds."
And Shane Williams says there will be no let-up in Wales' search for a solution to shore up their leaking defence.
Ireland's three-try blast at Croke Park means Wales have conceded 10 touchdowns in this season's Six Nations Championship - eight more than when they were crowned 2008 Grand Slam champions.
"Teams are causing us problems, although we are working hard at finding a fix," said the Wales wing.
"Our defence was bad, we made mistakes in key areas and left a few holes which Ireland utilised. Our lack of concentration at times cost us.
"We did not get in the right areas often enough, and you often get punished at international level when you make a mistake."
Italian coach Nick Mallet also blasted his team's defensive performance as he watched France claim a 46-20 victory on Sunday.
He said: "It was the worst match we played for a year. We are pretty disappointed and our defence was very poor," he said. A lot of players played their worst games today and when you do that against France they will score a lot of tries. They were made to look a lot better by our missed tackles but some of our players were well off their best."
Angus O'Brien has quickly settled into the Wales Sevens squad after solid performances in Hong Kong and Japan. With two rounds remaining in Glasgow and Twickenham on the World Series, WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie chats to the rising star.
Wales winger Luke Morgan has established himself as one of the deadliest finishers on the Sevens World Series. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie catches up with him on the eve of this weekend's round in Glasgow.
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.