RORY Best last night urged his Irish colleagues to make home advantage count in their RBS 6 Nations Championship clash with Wales tomorrow.
The Welsh were the last visiting team to win at Croke Park, a 16-12 success en route to a Grand Slam, and the Ulster hooker has not forgotten it.
"We have to guard against that happening again," said Best. "Them winning here will be a bit of a factor in that they won't fear coming to Croke Park having won there before."
Recent history in this fixture does not weigh in the hosts' favour. Incredibly, victory in each of the past three Irish-Welsh battles -- and six of their past 10 Championship meetings -- has gone to the visiting side.
"If we'd beaten them last time that might have made a difference to their attitude in coming back, but I'd imagine they'll be feeling pretty confident after what happened two years ago," added Best.
Ireland, of course, won in Cardiff last year, relieving the Welsh of their Grand Slam in a touch-and-go nail-biter.
"Last year we beat them in a very close game that went right down to the wire," added Best.
"There was nothing in that; it came down to a kick that, had it gone five yards further, would have meant they'd beaten us there as well."
Source: Belfast Telegraph