[ Source : AP News ]
Ireland escaped a mighty scare by Samoa in their final Rugby World Cup warm-up fixture today.
They held on to defeat the Samoans 17-13 in Bayonne.
Ireland faced a tough challenge in their match, trailing 10-7 at halftime.
However, they managed to turn things around with a penalty from Lima Sopoaga, extending their lead to six points. Despite the initial setback, Ireland avoided a shocking defeat.
In the second period, Conor Murray and Rob Herring scored crossings, adding to Jimmy O’Brien’s first-half score, securing the victory.
Duncan Paia’aua scored Samoa’s only try in 36 minutes, showing their potential as a threat in the World Cup.
The win came at a cost for Ireland, as Cian Healy’s injury added to their front-row concerns.
Andy Farrell’s planning has been complicated by ongoing injuries to Dave Kilcoyne, Dan Sheehan, and Ronan Kelleher, although he expects them to be available soon.
Ireland’s Murray made a crucial tackle to prevent Samoa from taking an early lead.
Jack Crowley’s accurate cross-field kick allowed Hansen to sprint down the right wing, leading to O’Brien scoring his first Test try.
The match was physically intense, with Healy being substituted due to injury. At halftime, Ireland trailed 10-7 after Paia’aua intercepted a pass and scored a try, with Sopoaga converting and adding a penalty.
This was only the second time Samoa faced a tier-one nation since their loss to Ireland in the 2019 World Cup.
Former Wasps fly-half Sopoaga scored a second penalty to extend their lead early in the second half.
Ireland’s Stockdale kicked the ball over the top, allowing Murray to dive and score.
However, Crowley’s conversion was off-target, leaving Ireland one point behind.