Ireand beat Samoa to seal place in quarter-finals

Tanya Simon
October 13, 2019

We just said to Bundee how we feel.

Aki was sent off in the 29th minute after a high tackle at Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium and faces a multiple-game suspension that could end his tournament, souring the emphatic victory that put Ireland through to the quarterfinals.

Although down to 14 men early in the match, Ireland responded well and ended up running in seven tries as Samoa crumbled with indiscipline and shoddy defence.

With the men in green continuing to dominate territory, flyhalf Johnny Sexton crossed in the 20th minute, then kicked his third conversion for a 21-0 lead.

Aki was sent off by referee Nic Berry midway through the first half of Ireland's 47-5 win over Samoa after his collision with Ulupano Seuteni was ruled as unsafe.

With the Irish fans in full-throated song, the world No. 4 team added tries through CJ Stander and Andrew Conway, stretching the lead to 47-5 following back-to-back conversions from replacement Joey Carbery.

Ireland were conciliatory in their press conference this morning, with assistant coach Greg Feek saying he "did not want to cause any more controversy at this stage" when asked about the pitch.

"That's what they're asking the players to do now, in a spilt second you've got to make the right decision about what sort of tackle you're going to make, which is extremely hard".

Another penalty lineout maul pushed Ireland into the 22, and Furlong bulldozed through four defenders to claim a fine try.

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And if that wasn't enough listen to what they're captain Jack Lam had to say.

Coach Steve Jackson said his team will take inspiration from Tonga, who pushed France to the limit in their final game, and Fiji, who did the same against Wales.

"I felt that tactically we were relatively solid once we lost Bundee".

"Look, I don't know if I should really comment on it", he began.

"As Jack said, hopefully the powers that be see some sense and hopefully he gets to continue on in this tournament because he's a great kid and he deserves it as much as most".

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said Aki was "devastated" at his sending off, especially against the country of his parents.

"I think Bundee is upright. You can see both his hands behind the shoulder blades of the player who's just starting to come up and it's all split-second stuff", he said.

"But we also have to look in our own backyard and at our development and ensure we capture them to play for us".

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