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."
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series