Ireland legend and centre Brian O'Driscoll has warned that there could be "a potential cricket score" if they do not improve against New Zealand this weekend.
Ireland were humiliated 32-15 by Australia at home last Saturday as coach Joe Schmidt suffered a first defeat in charge.
And O'Driscoll, 34, thinks that there is potential for a much heavier defeat if Ireland do not improve against the All Blacks. In their last meeting, Ireland were crushed 60-0 by the world's number one team, who they have never beaten.
"Were were poor against Australia and that level isn't acceptable," said O'Driscoll, who will win his 128th cap on Sunday.
"If we play anything like that level against the All Blacks there is the potential for a cricket score."
Despite his warnings, the centre believes that Ireland still have a chance to record an historic victory in what will be his 13th, and last, meeting against New Zealand.
"No one will give us a chance but I'm the eternal optimist so I still believe we can beat them.
"If you go catch them on an off day and things go right for you, there's always a chance.
"Everyone will write us off but I'm okay with that. We'll treat this game just like any other: as one we can win."
O'Driscoll is likely to start against the All Blacks as long as he overcomes a calf injury he sustained last weekend.
Jonathan Sexton is also an injury doubt with a hamstring injury, and the fly-half faces a race to be fit in time to make the starting XV.
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