Ireland loose forward Shane Jennings believes there are some clear lessons to be learned from his side's narrow win over Italy in February ahead of Sunday's crucial Pool C World Cup match.
Jennings clearly remembers the 13-11 win at their last meeting, with Ronan O'Gara slotting the winning drop-goal in injury time.
"We realised that we came up against a very good team, a very experienced team with some quality players and quality leaders so it's going top be a massive occasion on Sunday and we have to prepare well for it," said Jennings.
"We weren't surprised at all at the close game in Rome. We knew what we were getting into. It was a very physical game. They're good runners, they have a good set piece and if you give them the ball, as we did that day, they can do some damage.
"It was a very even game and we're all expecting it's going to be the same this weekend.
"They're very confrontational and they can match that with some dangerous runners and dangerous backs. We realised we didn't deserve to win in Rome, but we did."
Jennings, 30, who plays for Leinster and has won 12 Ireland caps since his debut in 2007, said he was not surprised Italy had to work hard for their win over the United States in Nelson on Tuesday.
"The USA are a very tough and physical side," he added. "We struggled against them, too. They faltered a bit in the scrum and Italy worked hard and dominated there towards the end."
Jennings also resserved praise for Sergio Parisse, the Italy and captain, saying: "He's a quality player. He deserves all the praise he gets because he leads the team fantastically.
"He doesn't just talk it. He backs it up with his own performances.
"He has a massive influence on every game he plays in. It's going to be a good test for us to try to nullify him. He's an all-rounder. He has all the skills and we have to negate his influence."
Meanwhile, Ireland are refusing to be drawn into a verbal slanging match with Italy ahead of the match at Otago Stadium.
Italy head coach Nick Mallett claimed his team have the stronger and better scrum and that the onus was on Ireland to combat them.
"A coach is always going to talk up what's good for them," said Ireland defence coach Les Kiss. "There's no doubt that Italy do have a good scrum but we'll back our guys.
"The scrum is a very important part of the game but we've got other parts to our game which we bring as well. It's no surprise Italy are talking up their scrum."
Asked about the scrummaging contest when Ireland beat Italy in February, Kiss replied: "We won. The scrum is just one part of the game. It went OK."