Ireland 47 Samoa 5
By Alan English in Japan
Our Rugby World Cup coverage is in association with Crawfords of Maghera
A rejuvenated Ireland secured the bonus-point victory that ensured their qualification for the quarter-finals, despite playing the final 52 minutes with only 14 men after centre Bundee Aki became their first player to be sent off in a RWC match.
After confidence-sapping performances against Japan and Russia, Ireland needed to put down a marker ahead of the quarter-finals, where New Zealand or South Africa await. It took them only three minutes to show their intent.
Captain Rory Best found Iain Henderson with a lineout throw close to the Samoan line and then got himself on the end of a rolling maul the underdogs couldn’t cope with. Johnny Sexton kicked the extras from the touchline and his team had the emphatic started they needed.
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