Ken Owens accepts it Wales when faced with an unlikely mission they will have to move on to another level France Saturday in Paris.
Wales’ overwhelming Guinness Six Nations campaign concludes at the Stade de France, where Les Bleus are the hot favorites to keep the pressure on tournament leaders Ireland.
France have won four games in a row against Wales and have just come out of a stunning spectacle last weekend when they beat England 53-10 at Twickenham.
Wales ended a painful losing streak against Italy last time, but France offers an entirely different proposition in the sun of Paris forecast.
“They put on a great performance against England,” said Wales captain Owens. “They will be revised.
“We know that we always have to be better to compete with the best teams in this competition.
“Last Saturday our performance was one step ahead in terms of consistency and execution. We will have to go up again.
“We knew we had to get better as the tournament went on – we did it in certain areas – and we’ll need to be at the top of our game on Saturday.
“It’s nothing new for us. No one expects anything from us after France’s performance in this competition.”
Wales’ latest record in the French capital is strong with three Six Nations wins from the last five visits.
But France, inspired by their shifting captain Antoine Dupont and ominously heading to the host World Cup in just six months, looks stronger than ever.
“The hardest thing about these kids is that they’re big guys, but they’re very athletic, they move well and they’re in shape,” Owens added.
“You would expect players of this size to be slow after 40-50 minutes, but that doesn’t happen to them.
“When they keep coming, you have to get off the line and keep fighting them. It takes your energy from you. Our fitness levels need to be there.
“One thing that is different with France is that they are much better at defense than traditional.
“We all know Shaun Edwards there and his work and disciplines are also much better.
Wales will try to make a red letter day for number eight Taulup FaletauHe becomes his country’s eighth captain, while propeller Dillon Lewis prepares for his 50th Test appearance from the bench.
But while Italy’s win shows signs of improvement, four wins in the last 16 games is a record that doesn’t mean France will be in trouble.
Owens said: “The outside pressure has eased because no one expects anything from us, but as a group we have two guys reaching milestones this week, so it’s important that we put on a performance for them and make sure it’s a special day for them.
“It’s been a frustrating campaign. We did not perform as consistently as we wanted.
“We have to keep building. We did well last week, we got a good win and we have to lead the preparations for the World Cup for what will happen in the fall.”