Having spent a week amid the stunning snow-peaked mountains of Queenstown, the Irish have relocated to New Plymouth for Sunday's opener against the USA.
It was a content squad that departed for the North Island, with the management's decision to give the players a certain degree of freedom having the desired effect.
Denis Leamy, the Munster number eight, has stressed the value of striking a balance between concentrating on rugby and being able to switch off.
Leamy played in every match at the 2007 World Cup, which saw Ireland make an abject start against Namibia and fail to recover as they slumped to an ignominious group exit.
"The importance of enjoying yourself can't be underestimated," said the back-rower.
"When lads are happy and are enjoying themselves it has a knock-on effect on the pitch.
"Like any human being, when you're down in the dumps and you're a little bit deflated, you won't perform to the best of your ability.
"We didn't enjoy the last World Cup. We were very tense.
"We were couped up in our hotel outside Bordeaux 24/7 and it didn't really work for us. It has been a lot different so far in New Zealand.
"It's been great for the boys to enjoy themselves and then when they go to training, they concentrate 100%.
"We had a great atmosphere going into 2007 but it deflated and got worse as it went on.
"Right now there are smiles on people's faces, which is always a good indicator of how things are going. Hopefully we can continue smiling throughout the competition."
Ireland have learnt from their showing in France four years ago and are unwilling to make any grand statements of intent for New Zealand.
In private they will view passage into the semi-finals for the first time as a justifiable target, but publicly refuse to look beyond dispatching the USA.
"It's very dangerous when players start making predictions," said Leamy.
"In the back of our heads we have a target of getting to a certain place, but we won't say it yet.
"It's important that we go through the process, starting with a big performance against the States.
"If we get out of the group we can then start dreaming about what can be achieved.
"We just need to find a little bit of form. We certainly have enough talent in our armoury to get out of the group stages and beyond.
"We didn't play to our ability in 2007. We'd beaten Australia, South Africa and all of the home nations heading into the World Cup but totally underperformed.
"We got ahead of ourselves in 2007. We talked about getting to semi-finals, which is very un-Irish.
"There's a process, every team is here to do their best and we must respect that.
"But if we do get it right, we have a great chance. It's been bit of a golden age for Irish rugby, including in terms of the number of fans we have.
"The provinces are doing well, consistently winning the Magners League and Heineken Cup. It would be a waste if we didn't perform."
After the way Ireland's pool games against Namibia and Georgia unfolded in 2007, there will be no lack of respect shown to the USA.
The Georgia match represented a nadir of Irish rugby, as only the last-gasp efforts of Leamy himself prevented a late try that would have seen the Eastern Europeans spring one of rugby's great upsets.
"We were lucky we didn't lose it," he said." I don't remember a whole lot about the game, but I remember thinking 'why aren't we pulling away from these guys?'.
"They were very strong physically and we just couldn't find our gears.
"We were trying, trying and trying but it just wasn't happening for us.
"It was a strange one. I never felt like that on a rugby pitch before."
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