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Repeat: Off The Ball


14-man Ireland hammer Samoa to qualify for the quarter-finals

Ireland are through to the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup after beating Samoa 47-5 despite...

Ireland are through to the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup after beating Samoa 47-5 despite being down to 14 men for 50 minutes.

The men in green were much improved over their last two games against Russia and Japan and will have gained such much-needed confidence from the win.

It was the perfect start for Joe Schmidt's side as captain Rory Best went over for an early try off the back of a rolling maul.

Ireland kept the pressure on and Tadhg Furlong powered through four Samoan defenders to go over for the second try of the afternoon after just nine minutes.

Johnny Sexton was pulling all the strings for the men in green and went over for a try of his own after 21 minutes which left the game looking all but over.

Samoa did respond however through their captain Jack Lam who showed incredible strength to shake off CJ Stander and get his side on the scoreboard.

Then came the most controversial moment of the match when Bundee Aki was shown a red card for a high tackle against his ancestral country.

Schmidt will face now face a nervous wait to see if Aki will be available for the quarter-final showdown against either New Zealand or South Africa.

However, after a brief period of uncertainty Ireland reasserted their dominance and Sexton scored the crucial bonus-point try on the stroke of half-time.

The south-sea islanders looked unlikely of ever causing an upset and when Jordan Larmour went in for a try after 49 minutes the game was well and truly over.

Sexton was hauled off after the conversion after a fantastic all-round performance from the fly-half and will be crucial to Ireland's hopes of making a first-ever semi-final.

After being camped on the Samoan line for what felt like a lifetime Stander finally muscled over for Ireland's sixth try of the day.

The fans weren't left waiting long for the seventh after a lovely grubber kick from Joey Carbery saw fellow replacement Andrew Conway dot down in the corner.

Samoa almost got a second try late in the game but were denied by the TMO, ending their World Cup campaign in disappointment.


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