Ireland will meet Samoa in the only game to be played on Saturday at the Rugby World Cup, after World Rugby’s utter incompetence and the Typhoon Hagibis caused the other two games to be canceled and scored as 0-0 draws.
Ireland will qualify from Pool A with a win, but needs a bonus point victory for better chances to top the group. The Shamrocks haven`t been that great in this RWC barring their first game, when they manhandled Scotland for a 27-3 statement victory. Their next two games however were a shocking 12-19 loss to hosts Japan and a rather flat 35-0 win over a poor Russian side. Ireland will hope to get back on track and show their true colors in this game, particularly since they haven`t secured qualification yet.
Manu Samoa will finish 4th in the group no matter what. The Samoans had a pretty good tournament overall so far, starting with a 34-9 win over Russia, following with a 0-34 loss against Scotland in their worst match of the RWC, and finally putting on a spirited performance against Japan. Samoa lost that game 19-38, but it was a real contest, as they were trailing by just 7 points before the last four minutes.Bet on Ireland v Samoa and get your 100% (100 Eur) welcome bonus at 1XBet now!
Team news & lineups:
This is not a time for experiments as far as Ireland is concerned, and they will field a very strong lineup here. Samoa will also send their top choice starting XV on the pitch, making only two changes to the team which lost against Japan last weekend.
Ireland: 15. Jordan Larmour, 14. Keith Earls, 13. Robbie Henshaw, 12. Bundee Aki, 11. Jacob Stockdale, 10. Jonathan Sexton, 9. Conor Murray, 8. CJ Stander, 7. Josh van der Flier, 6. Tadhg Beirne, 5. James Ryan, 4. Iain Henderson, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 2. Rory Best (c), 1. Cian Healy
Samoa: 15. Tim Nanai-Williams, 14. Ah See Tuala, 13. Alapati Leiua, 12. Henry Taefu, 11. Ed Fidow, 10. Ulupano Seuteni, 9. Dwayne Polataivao, 8. Jack Lam (c), 7. TJ Ioane, 6. Chris Vui, 5. Kane Le’aupepe, 4. Teofilo Paulo, 3. Michael Alaalatoa, 2. Seilala Lam, 1. Logovii Mulipola
Ireland will accept nothing else than a bonus point win in this clash, and that`s what they are highly likely to get.
After a couple of below average performances, the Irish won`t allow themselves to lose focus for this last group game. Surely they will be motivated, concentrated and ready to go. They need 5 points and it`s also the time to start clicking into gear for the quarterfinals. The team selection tells you how seriously they are taking this game.
Samoa are no mugs, but like it`s the case with the Tier 2 teams, they are likely to lose their edge physically after a run of tough games against top opposition. It already happened in the closing stages of the Japan match, when the Samoans could barely make a tackle. It looked like Japan would score a try every couple of minutes if the game would have went on. Changing just two players compared to that match will not improve Samoa’s physical state all.
Fatigue has the potential to be a key factor in this match, and it likely will be.
This Irish side is a legit contender to reach the final, and despite not impressing overall in this Rugby World Cup, they did show what they are capable of in that 27-3 destruction of Scotland.
Weather won`t be the best, but not a disaster either, with low chances for precipitations – despite the Hagibis Typhoon wrecking coastal Japan. Winds will be very high though, so kicking could be tricky. Lucky for Ireland, they have one of the best kicking games around, so Samoa could struggle more with he wind.
Look for Ireland to put big pressure with plenty of kicking in the strong wind, and as the match goes on and Samoa`s legs get more tired, Ireland should run away with it – both figuratively and literally.
My tip will be Ireland to cover the -27,5 handicap. Their quality and fitness should see them trough comfortably. Prediction: Ireland – Samoa 40 – 5.