However, having failed to recapture the form they showed in this year's Six Nations, any thoughts of making a mark in the knock-out stages in France have been cast aside. The players know they cannot afford to take their gaze off what is their sole aim now - finishing in the top two in the pool standings.
A frank Eddie O'Sullivan said today: "The way we're playing, our job is just to get out of the pool. I'm not going to make any silly statements about winning the tournament. We weren't the people who said we were going to win the tournament. Everyone else said that and we happened to agree.
"We agreed with them on the basis that we continued playing the type of rugby we did in the Six Nations. We all know if we can get back to there as a team, we can trouble anybody. But we're not there by a long shot and as long as we're not there we should not think about anything other than getting out of the pool. Our current form suggests we'll find it very hard to get out of the pool."
Pushed passes, turnovers and a general nervousness severely hindered Ireland's chances of scoring a bonus point win over Georgia last night and O'Sullivan knows his side needs to improve, and improve quickly.
Reflecting on the Georgian game, he said: "It was a completely different story from last week (against Namibia) in that our set piece was very good. We retained all but one of our lineouts, took a lot of Georgian lineouts. We were excellent in the scrum. The two balls we lost squirted out of the back of the scrum.
"The problem was again down to turnovers. To be fair, the Georgians pinned us back a lot. Weâ00d a fair bit of possession in the defensive third of the pitch. It was probably not too dissimilar to last week. But I would probably say that was a lot better, some of our approach work when we had feed position was quite good but, again, our final pass went astray. We just forced the last pass again.
"Itâ00s very frustrating but it is what it is. Weâ00ve got to move on from it. Weâ00ve a game on Friday night against France in Paris and we have to try to improve on what weâ00ve been doing," he added.
"Weâ00ve a lot to improve on, I'll admit that, but, at the same time, we canâ00t do any more than that. Iâ00m sure there is there is a fair bit of disappointment out there. Itâ00s not like we havenâ00t been trying here, to be fair to the players and ourselves. We have been working on it but it just hasnâ00t been coming together for us. That is disappointing.
"Iâ00m not sure why weâ00re making all these mistakes. We havenâ00t made these mistakes before. Weâ00ve been better on the ball. Weâ00ve held on to the football longer. I suppose thereâ00s an element of nervousness in the team.
"This is the second week in a row that we havenâ00t put a performance together so there is an element of trepidation. Theyâ00re not playing well so they want to improve on that and that brings its own pressures."
Turnovers have troubled Ireland for their first 160 minutes of the tournament, a point readily expected by O'Sullivan and his players.
"The players feel that if you go through the mistakes that theyâ00re making, a lot of them are on the football. Weâ00re turning the ball over a lot and if we continue to turn it over at that rate against any team, youâ00re going to be in trouble. If we can solve that problem weâ00ll be in the game.
"Itâ00s (the number of turnovers) been the bane of our lives for the past couple of weeks. Itâ00s frustrating and itâ00s hard to put your finger on it at the moment. It is causing us most of our problems. Our set piece is working fine and we are putting together five or six phases of play," O'Sullivan insisted.
"But you can put together five or six rucks, some good lineouts, and then you knock the ball on or lose it in contact, youâ00re not back to square one, youâ00re back to square minus one because the ballâ00s suddenly behind you and youâ00re scrambling back for it.
"And that's what weâ00ve been doing consistently for the past two games. There's no question about it, if we do that in Paris, we'll be in for a right hiding. Thereâ00s no doubt about that."
O'Sullivan has had troubled times before in his Ireland coaching career, most notably at the start of his second year at the helm in late 2002.
"We've had a couple of periods where things have been difficult. They haven't been at a time like this - during a World Cup where there is huge focus and exposure on it.
"I remember at the start of our season in 2002 we had World Cup qualifiers and we started poorly. We were shaky against Romania, against Russia in Siberia and then we beat Georgia," he explained.
"But we had a good autumn, beating Australia and Argentina, and then kicked on to challenge England for a Grand Slam. We made that happen by turning areas of doubt into areas of confidence. In this situation it's about measuring twice and cutting once."
Ireland's familiarity with France will certainly be to their advantage on Friday, after facing two teams that thrived on their unpredictability according to O'Sullivan.
"Weâ00ve played France so often that we know them very well. We know that theyâ00re a very good team though, and we know that if we turn the ball over like we did against Georgia and Namibia, weâ00ll be in real trouble in Paris.
"Having said that, there's a sense of knowing what's in front of you. The last two teams we've played were unpredictable and weâ00ve allowed that unpredictability to upset us. We conceded eight penalties last night, which was good for us. We conceded six last week. The Georgians conceded five penalties, which is an interesting statistic.
"Georgia are a very disciplined side, which meant that we didnâ00t get too many kicks on goal. They were a very unpredictable bunch and they defended very unpredictably, with fellas breaking the defensive line all the time, and that lead to their try.
"But we knew that. They took a punt and they got lucky. So there was a sense of unpredictability about them which made them awkward to play against. But I wouldnâ00t put that out there as an excuse," he insisted.
"That's something youâ00ve to deal with against these sides. And I suppose that we havenâ00t dealt with it very well. Thatâ00s lead to our situation, where we are turning the ball over an awful lot."