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."
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.