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Webb knows Wales can't afford to come unstuck in crucial Millennium battle

By Duncan Bech

Rhys Webb accepts there can be "no margin for error" when Wales attempt to divert Ireland's seemingly-relentless RBS Six Nations title march off course this afternoon.

Ireland will arrive at the Millennium Stadium on a run of 10 successive Test match victories under their outstanding coach Joe Schmidt.

If they topple Wales - Ireland have only lost twice in Cardiff since 1983 - a win against Scotland next week would secure a first Six Nations Grand Slam for six years and send them into the World Cup later this year with collective confidence at sky-high levels.

For their part, Wales still harbour hopes of landing a third Six Nations crown in the last four years.

But they are currently two points behind Ireland, while also holding an inferior overall points difference compared with the Irish and fellow title contenders England, whose last two games are Twickenham appointments with Scotland and France.

"To win the title would be a massive achievement after the disappointment of losing to England (last month)," said Wales scrum-half Webb, who starts against Ireland for the first time in his Test career.

"We know that we have to beat Ireland to remain in title contention.

"To be fair, they have won 10 games on the bounce. They are a world-class team - the best in Europe.

"We have had a good week's training, and the boys are positive. We've stepped it up from the England game, so hopefully we can bring a big performance out this weekend."

Key to Ireland's victory hopes will be the implementation of tactics by half-backs Jonny Sexton and Conor Murray. They delivered a masterful display in tormenting England two weeks ago, and Wales are understandably on red alert.

"It was an outstanding kicking performance," Webb added.

"I don't know if England did much analysis on them - they didn't seem to put much pressure on numbers nine and 10 whatsoever.

"The kick is only as good as the chase, and playing with Bowey (Tommy Bowe) at the Ospreys, every time I put a box-kick up he would always go and get it back for me.

"Murray and Sexton are key players, but Bowe, (Rob) Kearney and (Simon) Zebo are good in the air and their chase is obviously as good as the kick.

"They have got a lot of dangerous players.

"We just need to be on the money, and we know there is no margin for error because Sexton will keep kicking the three points over and he can also put us in the wrong parts of the field.

"We just need to keep on top of it and keep lots of pressure on them."

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