Talismanic captain Brian O'Driscoll wants his Ireland side to find "a level of consistency" during the upcoming RBS 6 Nations Championship.
Amid much hype, Ireland got off to a solid start in last year's campaign, beating Italy (28-17) and Scotland (40-13) away, and then accounting for England at Lansdowne Road by matching 2004's famous 19-13 score line from Twickenham.
Could O'Driscoll lead Ireland to their first Championship title since 1985? Unfortunately the answer was a no in 2005. Ireland's performance levels then waned in March as defeats followed at home to France and finally, in the cauldron of Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.
The French picked up a 26-17 win at Lansdowne, becoming the first side to beat Eddie O'Sullivan's men in a 6 Nations game in Dublin since Clive Woodward's 2003 England outfit. Then the Welsh Dragons, breathing new fire under Mike Ruddock, proved too strong on the final weekend, winning 32-20 in Cardiff to secure the Triple Crown, the 6 Nations title and the Grand Slam.
Following a Lions tour to forget in more ways than one, O'Driscoll, fully fit after his recovery from a dislocated right shoulder, has hit a purple patch of form for Leinster. Three tries in four starts for the star centre, who turned 27 last weekend, bodes well for the 6 Nations.
O'Driscoll said at Wednesday's RBS 6 Nations Launch in London: "I'm fresh after the break - I'm probably back to what I was three years or four years ago. I tried to take the positives out of what was obviously a negative situation (with the injury).
"I think the break has freshened me up. I hadn't had a serious injury and so I had played a hell of a lot of rugby without a break. Now I've got the opportunity to step up again. It has made me hungry more than anything else.
"Being realistic, I have only played four games in the last seven months. I mustn't get ahead of myself. I just have to do the simple things well."
On a team level, O'Driscoll is looking for Ireland to get back to their consistent best.
"This time last year we were being hyped up. Nobody gave Wales a chance and look what happened? But winning it again is a big ask," the Dubliner conceded.
"We're looking for a level of consistency. We have set our standards really high, on the pitch and on the training field."