The only match maintained on the program this Saturday after the cancellations of England – France and New Zealand – Italy, Ireland can dream of the quarterfinals if victory improved against Samoa. The coach of the XV of Ireland has therefore aligned the big team with his best players. Back from injury, Robbie Henshaw will play his first game of the competition. Follow the meeting live.
Ireland can secure its place in the quarterfinals, or even top the pool A, if successful in Samoa Fukuoka, the only match scheduled Saturday (12.45).
Typhoon Hagibis could therefore reshuffle the cards in Pool A: Japanese and Scottish face Sunday for a place in the quarterfinals but will only know at the last moment if their match is maintained. Far from this uncertainty, Ireland has its destiny in hand: a victory over Samoa, if possible with the bonus, would ensure qualification.
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"For us, it's as usual. We can not control what is going on for Japan-Scotland so, on Saturday, it will be up to us to do our best "said coach Joe Schmidt. "We just have to make sure our match ends with the right result for us. I am convinced that Samoans will try to make it as complicated as possible. ", he added.
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Incidentally, the Irish intend to find individual and collective benchmarks. Their game, very organized, is missing since the great victory against Scotland (27-3) opening. Above all, they are counting on this match against Samoa to see where their leader is, the opener Jonathan Sexton, who played only 98 minutes since the beginning of the tournament.
The XV clover relies on his ability to impulse, order, sequences at a thousand times first to get into the quarterfinals. And then, why not, finally arrive in the semifinals, which will go through a win against New Zealand, first in Pool B, or his South African runner-up.
"To go home with the scalp"
Samoa falls right to experience the Irish chains. Swept by Scotland (34-0), they then caused big problems to the Japanese, finally 38-19 winners. "We want to finish with pride. We still have a lot of work to do to qualify for the next World Cup », have admitted the captain and third line Jack Lam, who refused contracts in France to participate in the World Cup with Samoa.
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"It would be unbelievable, equal to those matches we won in 1995 (Samoa had beaten Italy and Argentina on the road of quarters, Ed). Now, in the professional era, it's probably one of the biggest games we could play and win, considering where we are ranked and the Irish are among the top five in the world, it could be huge. ", coach Steve Jackson said. "What better way to finish the World Cup?" He asks. Monday, we are on the plane so much to go home with such a scalp ».
IRELAND: Larmour – Earls, Henshaw, Aki, Stockdale – (o) Sexton, (m) Murray – van der Flier, CJ Stander, Beirne – Ja. Ryan, Henderson – Furlong, Best (cap.), Healy
Alternates: Scannell, Kilcoyne, Porter, Kleyn, O'Mahony, McGrath, Carbery, Conway
SAMOA: Nanai-Williams – Tuala, Leiua, Taefu, Fidow – (o) Seuteni, (m) Polataivao – TJ Ioane, J. Lam, Vui – Le'aupepe, Paulo – Alaalatoa, S. Lam, Mulipola
Replacements: Niuia, Alo-Emile, Lay, Faasalele, Tyrell, Cowley, Pisi, Fonotia