Munster winger Simon Zebo has warned his side to be wary of the threat Zebre will pose when they travel to Stadio XXV Aprile on Saturday.
Despite losing back-to-back fixtures to Treviso over the past fortnight, Zebre have shown enough this PRO12 season to be taken seriously.
And Zebo, who crossed three times in their home win over the Italians, is determined not to let standards slip as Munster look to seal victory.
“It’s going to be a massive game and we’ll be looking to build momentum over this block of games we’ve got coming up. We need to right a performance that certainly was below par last weekend (against Connacht),” said Ireland international wing Zebo, speaking to Irish Rugby.
“We need to get some consistency but first and foremost this weekend we need to put in a big performance and fingers crossed it will be enough to get a win.”
He added: “Zebre are not an easy side to go and visit. They’ve got their bruisers and a hostile atmosphere. As well as their victories over Ulster and Edinburgh, they’ve run lots of teams close down there (including a one-point loss to the table-topping Ospreys).
“If you take them for granted, especially at home, you’ll leave the field with egg on your face so we’ll be going to put in a big performance. We’ve a massive task ahead in the next few weeks and it all starts with Zebre this weekend.
“They base their game around physicality and try to bully teams up front, making games scrappy and picking up wins. We’ll have to match them physically and hopefully then we can get a bit of ball out wide also.
“We go over there with a point to prove after a poor performance last weekend and nothing less than a win will be acceptable. But it won’t be easy, they’re a rugged side and they’ve been unlucky not to get more wins under their belt so we need to up it this weekend.”