Former Welsh Grand Slam-winning coach Mike Ruddock says he would be relatively happy with the Six Nations campaign if he was still in the position, as Wales build towards the World Cup later this year.
Ruddock, back in Wales tonight as head coach of the Ireland U20 team, says while there are areas to work on for Wales, the side are in better shape than many are giving them credit for.
"I think Wales have done relatively well, especially given the quality of props they have lost in Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones," he said. "Everyone wants more from their team and thinks they should be scoring more tries, but it is hard. Everyone is organised now in defence," Ruddock said.
"There are some good signs going forward, though. When you think - as well as the injuries - they had to try and replace a guy like Martyn Williams and his influence in that team, I think the back row has done well. They look like they're really developing as a unit, and Lydiate and Warburton are really growing into Test match rugby," he said.
Looking ahead to Saturday's clash, Ruddock feels both sides are in a similar position.
"It seems like there's a similar debate surrounding both teams, with the feeling that there's a little bit left to come,"he said. "Both sides have struggled with giving away too many penalties, and both have struggled to decide on a number 10."
"Both defend very aggressively and the line-outs are pretty evenly matched,"Ruddock said. "I think [Ireland Coach] Declan Kidney will be pleased to have nailed down that tight-head spot with Mike Ross, and they'll be pretty comfortable coming to Cardiff. Someone like Ronan O'Gara has had a pretty good time in Cardiff over the years."
"I just can't call it, I think it will come down to who takes their chances."
And after wracking up 69 penalties between them in this years tournament, it seems likely penalties could be the source of these chances.
Ruddock said: "You've got to speak to the referee before the game and play him during it. You must show players mistakes in video sessions and try and irradicate those errors on the training pitch.
"But you need to have a contingency plan too. All my teams have a trigger word to leave the ball alone. If you're on the end of a string of penalties sometimes you need to just let the referee cool off,leave the ball alone, get round the corner and trust your defence."
Ruddock may have lead Wales to a first Grand Slam in 27 years, but he has always had split loyalties over this fixture.
"My mother was from Munster and my wife is from Dublin," he said. "My daughter was born in Dublin and she now plays netball for Ireland U17's and obviously Rhys and Ciaran have decided their future is over here too," he said. "It has worked out for all of us here but of course you know I played for Swansea and I've got permission off the IRFU to sing both national anthems tonight (before the U20 international in Llanelli)."
And Ruddock bears no grudge against WRU, despite his acrimonious departure.
"To be honest all the WRU stuff is water well and truly under the bridge," he said. "I'm loving my job out here. It's fantastic and I believe the lessons I learnt from the Wales experience have undoubtedly made me a better coach."