Wales rightly received considerable acclaim for their recent World Cup campaign in New Zealand when they produced a best tournament performance since 1987 to finish fourth.
But fly-half Priestland knows Wales need to move on, starting with tomorrow's Millennium Stadium clash against Australia.
It is barely six weeks since the countries last met in the World Cup bronze medal match, and Australia's 21-18 victory that day at Eden Park continued a depressing trend from Wales' perspective.
Their last 15 fixtures against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have produced a solitary victory, while the Tri Nations ledger during rugby union's 16-year professional era shows three wins, one draw and 41 defeats.
And if Wales are to be a major force at the next World Cup in four years' time, it is a long-term trend they must start reversing.
"We need to get a win against one of the southern hemisphere teams I think to prove to ourselves that we are good enough, and we have that chance on Saturday," said Priestland, who reclaims Wales' number 10 shirt after missing the World Cup semi-final and play-off games through injury.
"I think losing against France (in the semi-final) and then Australia took a bit away from the way we played. We lost two games in a row and everyone was pretty disappointed.
"It's good we have got this game on Saturday. We want to get back to winning ways, and it is important we build on some of the performances in New Zealand.
"At the end of the day, we did lose to South Africa, France and Australia out there, and as a squad we are pretty disappointed with that."
Priestland's shoulder problem suffered late in the quarter-final against Ireland meant Wales lost arguably their most influential player from a tournament when he displayed world-class quality.
Wales, in truth, never really recovered, which underlined just how key a presence the 24-year-old had become.
"When I first got injured I knew it was bad news because of how painful it was," he added.
"I was pretty down, but then I started thinking there were a lot of players who didn't even make the World Cup - two at the Scarlets in Morgan Stoddart and Matthew Rees, who got injured before it - so I thought I had been quite lucky.
"I played five games in the World Cup and played more rugby than I thought I was going to play, so on the whole I couldn't really be that disappointed.
"I don't think (the World Cup) has changed the way I play the game. The coaches said they wanted players to play with their heads up, and that is what I have tried to do.
"I know I am not the fastest or strongest, but I try to read the game and try to bring other players around me into the game.
"I thoroughly enjoyed the World Cup. It has made me a bit wiser and given me a lot more experience, which is something I am really grateful for."
Scarlets playmaker Priestland, even though he has won only nine caps and he began 2011 as Wales' fourth choice fly-half, is a critical part of coach Warren Gatland's plans building towards a concerted RBS 6 Nations title bid later this season.
But Priestland, who has risen above the likes of his Scarlets colleague Stephen Jones, James Hook and Dan Biggar to fill fly-half duties, is comfortable with considerable expectation levels.
"I try not to put too much pressure on myself," he said.
"I used to really beat myself up when things didn't go right.
"Sooner or later I am going to have a bad game, and it is how you react to that.
"People often say the number 10 shirt is the most important shirt in Wales, but I am sure if you asked a scrum-half or a centre then they would say the nine or 12 shirt is the most important.
"When I was younger I used to play a bit at centre and full-back, but I always liked having the ball in my hands so I have always wanted to play 10."
Lining up opposite Priestland tomorrow will be an unfamiliar Test fly-half in Australia's World Cup wing James O'Connor, who makes his debut international start as first receiver, but the Wales star does not expect an easy ride.
"To be honest, I think he could probably play anywhere from nine to 15 and be world-class in any position. You know what threats he is going to bring," Priestland added.
"He is the sort of player who will aim to identify mismatches, but to be honest they've got seven guys behind the scrum who could cut loose at any time."
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