The Pool C rivals cross swords at Otago Stadium on Sunday with the winners progressing to the World Cup quarter-finals and the losers returning home on Monday.
The contest has been stoked up by Mallett, the Italy coach, who declared during the week that the Azzurri have a stronger front row and are ready to prove it.
Ross, who will pack down alongside loosehead Cian Healy and hooker Rory Best, insists Ireland will meet them head on.
"Nick's justifiably proud of Italy's scrum, but we're confident that we'll be able to handle whatever they throw at us," he said.
"The important thing is not to get too worked up about it and concentrate on what we do.
"We coughed up a few penalties against Italy in February, but the scrum has come on a long way since then. It should be an interesting battle."
Mallett stands by his claim but stresses that Italy are not just a forward-orientated team, citing their superior try count to Ireland's as evidence.
"I'm happy with that comment, we certainly believe we have a very strong front row. I don't regret what I said," said the South African.
"There isn't a single team we haven't been good against in the scrum.
"It's not an arrogant comment, it's a realistic comment.
"They certainly know we have a good scrum but they've improved their scrum.
"As the Irish have quite rightly said, it's only one area and we like to think we have more to our game as well.
"We're not a one-trick pony, not just a scrummaging side. We've scored more tries than Ireland against the same opposition - we've scored 13 they've scored 12."
Ireland were disgruntled by some of the refereeing decisions at the set-piece during the 13-11 RBS 6 Nations victory over Italy in February.
Jonathan Kaplan will oversee tomorrow's game and Ross insists officials can have a significant influence on how a scrum performs.
"Referees can play a big part as decisions are often based on their interpretations," said the Leinster tighthead.
"If a scrum goes down, there can be any number of reasons for that, but they might decide there's just one reason.
"Most of the time they get it right, but sometimes we have our disagreements on their interpretations.
"The most important thing is that they're consistent in their interpretations. That's all players ask for."
Ireland's scrum has become a weapon since Ross established himself as first choice tighthead at the start of the Six Nations.
The speed with which he has adapted to Test rugby is remarkable, but the 31-year-old always felt he had the ability to succeed.
"I've never struggled, although playing against France in the Six Nations was tough," he said.
"At tighthead prop you work very hard for what you get. I don't imagine Sunday will be any different.
"You earn what you get and you get what you put into it.
"I wasn't surprised by the way I took to Test rugby. I played these guys week in week out in the Premiership and Magners League.
"There's bit of a step up to Test rugby, but if you can handle them at club level then it's reasonable to expect to handle them at Test level."
Ireland find themselves in the position that a solitary defeat against Italy would be enough to end their World Cup.
"Whoever wins, doesn't go home. It's an interesting permutation the way the pool's worked out," said Ross.
"You lose one game and you can still be on the plane home. That's the hand we've been dealt.
"We always knew we would have to win this game to get to the quarter-finals."
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