Fiji sent Wales packing from the 2007 tournament in France, winning what was a straight knockout game with a quarter-final place as its prize.
Four years on, and Wales find themselves occupying pole position.
Wales' place in the last eight will effectively be confirmed if Samoa fail to collect a point against world champions South Africa tomorrow.
The only way Wales could not then qualify would be if Fiji beat them by a 60-point margin at Waikato Stadium this weekend.
A Wales victory over the Pacific islanders, though, makes any statistical equation irrelevant - and that is how assistant coach Howley looks at it.
Asked how relevant 2007 might be towards Sunday's clash, assistant coach Howley said: "No relevance."
And Howley is adamant that Wales will not get ahead of themselves by contemplating a probable World Cup quarter-final against Ireland before they finish Pool D business.
The likely Wellington showdown on Saturday week has been a strong possibility ever since Ireland blew open the draw's top half by beating Australia 12 days ago.
"We were hugely disappointed with our result against South Africa, but we showed great resilience in beating Samoa," he added.
"And we are quietly confident where we are at the moment. I think it's dangerous to look ahead. Any international rugby game is very difficult to win.
"It's about concentrating on our game and controlling your own destiny.
"In terms of the big picture, we will be quite strong on Sunday afternoon. It's just about not getting ahead of yourself.
"Sunday is our next game. If it's a good game, then we can look ahead to the quarter-finals."
Wales' last meeting with Fiji at the Millennium Stadium 10 months ago ended in a 16-16 draw, which perhaps has a greater bearing than 2007 events in Nantes.
Howley believes Fiji can pose danger despite their Pool D campaign having featured comprehensive defeats against South Africa and Samoa following an opening-weekend victory over Namibia.
"Against Fiji, it is important that you play field position. In the first 25 minutes last Sunday, Samoa showed how you should really play Fiji," he said.
"I think everyone can turn up for international games and put a performance in, and that is what Fiji did back in the autumn series last year.
"When you look at the world-class players they have and their ability to play rugby, their off-loading skills and their momentum, they are very good rugby players.
"It keeps your feet on the ground having had that experience back in the autumn series. It's not a bad thing, in terms of the Welsh psyche.
"Sometimes we get ahead of ourselves and we think we are better than we are. It's important we realise how good this Fiji side are, and they showed that (in November)."
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