Following on from their 40-19 win over Tonga on Saturday, the Irish squad will make the short journey to Samoa for the final match of their summer tour in Apia on Friday.
Following on from their 40-19 win over Tonga on Saturday, the Irish squad will make the short journey to Samoa tomorrow for the final match of their summer tour in Apia on Friday next, (kick-off 3.30pm local time).
The win over the physical Tongan’s was not achieved without cost, with Eric Miller the victim of a stamping that left him with a broken nose and a lacerated eyelid that required stitching. Despite this, Miller has somehow not been ruled out of the game against Samoa.
He is quoted in the Irish Times today saying. “I hope he (the perpetrator) gets his punishment for it and I’m sure he will.” – But he won’t.
It seems that referee Steve Walsh initially identified the culprit but following consultation with his touch-judge then sent off Villiami Ma’asi who was subsequently exonerated by match commissioner, Lee Smith.
Video evidence was deemed inconclusive – just as it was in the case of All Black Ali Williams – and so Miller must just take the assault on the chin – or to be totally accurate on the nose and eye – and grin (when his eye opens and the stitches have been removed) and bear it.
The performance itself was something of a mixed bag. After a patchy start when they went 11 points down Ireland hauled themselvers back to score six tries which included one for man of the match Jonathan Bell and two apiece for John Kelly and Guy Easterby.
Their final assignment will be altogether tougher than what they experienced in Nuku’alofa. Samoa warmed up for the game against Ireland with a match against Queensland on Saturday in Ballymore. That ended in a 43-42 defeat, a game that produced 12 tries with the Aussie winner coming on the stroke of full-time.
Three days earlier, Samoa came from being 36-12 down to the Waratahs, scored five tries themselves and ended up 48-41 winners.