A converted try from Castleknock prop Ruaidhri Murphy helped the Ireland Under-19s hang on to beat Samoa for their second win at the IRB U-19 World Championship in Dubai.
IRB U-19 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: DIVISION A: Thursday, April 13
IRELAND U-19 16 SAMOA U-19 15, Sharjah Wanderers
Scorers: Ireland: Try: Ruaidhri Murphy; Con: Brian Collins; Pens: Collins 3
Samoa: Tries: Steve Faatua, Silaumua Potifele; Con: Karl Siemsen; Pen: Ki Anufe
Ireland did just enough to squeeze past Samoa and book a 6th-7th place play-off date with Argentina in Sharjah on Monday (kick-off 5.00pm Irish time).
Charlie McAleese's side pipped the Islanders by a single point thanks to Murphy's effort, four minutes into the second half. Murphy's school-mate Brian Collins kicked three first half penalties for a 9-8 lead at the break.
Hooker and captain Steve Faatau and winger Silaumua Potifele grabbed tries in either half for Samoa, whose chances took a hit when back row duo Richard Muagututia and Talitonu Faapuea were yellow carded in quick succession.
McAleese said afterwards: "This was never going to be an easy fixture for us. I have to take my hat off to Samoa - they played extremely well. We had a bit of attacking flair and they were more direct. They made it exceptionally difficult for us."
Ireland captain David Pollock added: "They (Samoa) were very good at commanding the ball. We have a better performance in us. When they got in our danger zone, they upped their game."
TIME LINE: 4 minutes - Ireland penalty: Brian Collins - 3-0; 7 mins - Samoa penalty: Ki Anufe - 3-3; 16 mins - Ireland penalty: Brian Collins - 6-3; 26 mins - Ireland penalty: Brian Collins - 9-3; 32 mins - Samoa try: Steve Faatua - 9-8; Half-time - Ireland 9 Samoa 8; 39 mins - Ireland try: Ruaidhri Murphy - 14-8; conversion: Brian Collins - 16-8; 57 mins - Samoa try: Silaumua Potifele - 16-13; conversion: Karl Siemsen - 16-15; Full-time - Ireland 16 Samoa 15
IRELAND U-19: Niall O'Connor (Limavady GS); Keith Earls (St Munchin's), Ivan Dineen (CBC Cork), Aidan Wynne (Blackrock College), Michael Barker (Queens University); Brian Collins (Castlenock College), Paul O'Donohoe (Belvedere College); Ruaidhri Murphy (Castleknock College), David Gilchrist (UCD), Cian Healy (Belvedere College), Andrew Browne (Galwegians), Conor McInerney (UCD), Tommy O'Donnell (UL Bohemians), David Pollock (Queens University) (capt), Kevin Sheahan (UCD).
Replacements used: Gerard Slattery (St Munchin's) for Gilchrist, Jonathan Graham (Ballynahinch) for O'Donnell (both half-time), Shan Monahan (Dublin University) for Dineen, Thomas Walsh (Castleknock College) for Browne (67). Not used: Richard Sweeney (UCD), James Gethings (Gonzaga), David Drake (Instonians), Sean Carey (Garbally College), Ian Keatley (UCD), Ian Whitten (Queens University).
SAMOA U-19: Karl Siemsen; Silaumua Potifele, Thretton Palamo, Ki Anufe, Morgan Salesa; Salevi Leota, Alatasi Tupou; Sitanisilao Satui, Steve Faatau (capt), Taliaferro Faalogo, Lavatai Tofilau, Ruperake Petaia, Misioka Timoteo, Richard Muagututia, Talitonu Faapuea.
Replacements used: Naama Leleimalefaga for Satui (46 mins), Mania Ieti for Faatau (47), Afa Tasipale for Timoteo (55), Tupu Ulufale for Anufe (55), Ietitaia Sanerivi for Faalogo (63). Not used: Aiuli Siaupiu, Philip Junior Lemalu, James Roache, Michael Talitonu, Slade Sesole, Etuale Pitone.
Sin Bin: R Muagututia (38 mins), Talitonu Faapuea (62).
Referee: Federico Cuesta (Argentina); Touch Judges: David Jones (Wales), Emile Pirtoc (Romania)