Samoa Coach And Captain: Don't Ban Bundee Aki

Jose Verdugo
Octubre 12, 2019

Robbie Henshaw will get his first game in the World Cup after recovering from a hamstring injury with Schmidt naming close to his best side to face Samoa.

Ireland punished that sloppy mistake with a converted try in the eighth. "We're in the quarter-finals - whatever happens tomorrow happens".

After starting the tournament so brightly against Scotland, Joe Schmidt's team have veered off course, with sub-par performances against Japan and Russian Federation.

Ireland captain Rory Best has been delighted with his side's reaction to their shock loss against Japan.

Lam is one of a number of unsafe individuals in the Samoa team, but since their opening win over Russian Federation, they have struggled to find their best form in Japan. "Knowing that we're on an airplane on Monday, going home, to have a scalp like that would be great".

The availability of islanders to play for the Pacific nations is under the spotlight, with many having chosen to eschew the World Cup rather than lose professional club contracts. How they emerge from the tournament could have a big bearing on what happens next for them.

Jackson's Samoa side dealt confidently with Russian Federation, winning 34-9 in a bruising encounter, then lost to Scotland 34-0.

In his post-match comments, Jackson said there was "no malice" in Aki's hit on Seuteni, saying he hoped there would be no suspension for the 29-year-old center, who was born in New Zealand and is of Samoan descent.

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Ireland's expectation is that Samoa will front-up in a very physical way and there seems little prospect that Schmidt's team will give the underdogs anything other than respect.

Ireland overcame a red-card to Bundee Aki as they went on to defeat Samoa 47-5 in their final game of the Pool A in Fukuoka on Saturday as they went on to reach the quarter-finals in the ongoing Rugby World Cup. "He knows the Samoan players really well". Earls said on Friday that there has been some banter between them this week - although no wager - on who will be the first to cross the try-line.

Henshaw's inclusion is one of 11 changes made by Schmidt from the starting XV who beat Russian Federation 35-0. Jordan Larmour gets another chance with Rob Kearney not quite up to full speed.

If both Pool A games were to be called off, all four teams would get two points and credited with a 0-0 scoreline - and that would allow the Japanese and Irish into the quarterfinals.

Japan leads the group with 14 points, three clear of Ireland and four ahead of Scotland. The last time they played was at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin in 2013 when Ireland won 40-9.

All of Samoa's jersey numbers, except No.1 (loose-head prop), have scored at least one RWC try.

Best, the Ireland captain, got the first try in the fourth minute from a driving maul.

"They're going to be ultra-excited to get the ball in their hand, they're going to be looking to do as much damage to us as possible", he said. The win has taken Ireland to 16 points in the table that has taken them to the top spot in the table with their qualification to the knock-out confirmed irrespective of the result between Scotland and Japan on Sunday.

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