Ireland beat Samoa 47-5 despite Bundee Aki's red-card to reach quarter-finals

Johnny Sexton kicked 18 points for Ireland
Johnny Sexton kicked 18 points for Ireland

Ireland 47 - 5 Samoa, Fukuoka

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.

The game which was initially anticipated to be called-off was given a go-ahead by World Rugby after Super Typhoon Hagibis changed course but nevertheless the teams had difficult conditions to encounter at Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium. 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.

Joe Schmidt's side started the game with a bang after skipper Rory Best awarded a try in the fourth minute after a consultation with TMO and Johnny Sexton kicked the conversion to take them to a seven-point lead. Samoa suffered a setback with Seilala Lam sin-binned for a high tackle on Jacob Stockdale but Ireland doubled their tally in the ninth minute with Tadhg Furlong crossing the whitewash that was improved by Sexton.

A combination of Aki, CJ Stander and Jordan Larmour was clinical in setting up Ireland's third try as an inside pass allowed Sexton to score a converted try and despite having just 18% possession, Samoa managed to sneak one through with Jack Lam crossing over in the 26th minute making the scoreline 21-5. Ireland were reduced to 14-men for the remainder of the game with Aki red-carded in the 29th minute for a hit on the face of Ulupano Seuteni but Samoa failed to capitalise on the advantage.

Despite the setback, Ireland managed to claim the bonus point at the stroke of half-time through Sexton's second as the teams finished the first half with a 26-5 scoreline.

Ireland continued to attack at the start of the second half despite having a player short and they a try denied in the 45th minute but it was a matter of time before they scored the fifth when Conor Murray sent a lovely pass to send Lamour on the corner and Samoa's infringement costed them once again with this time TJ Ioane yellow-carded in the 59th minute for an infringement at ruck.

There was no looking back for the Irish side as a grubber kick from Joey Carbery was capitalised by Conor Murray in the 70th as he went over the line after Stander also touched down following assistance from Peter O'Mahony as Ireland completed a massive 47-5 win despite playing with one player less for the majority of the game.


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