Ireland will bring the curtain down on their summer tour and indeed their current season when they take on Samoa in Apia Park in the early hours of tomorow morning.
Ireland will bring the curtain down on their summer tour and indeed their current season when they take on Samoa in Apia in the early hours of tomorrow morning. Coming as this game does at this time of the year, the players will need to keep their minds very sharply focussed against a host side who will be determined to put on a good show for the home crowd, in this their only home game before the World Cup.
Samoa enjoy the physical nature of the game but besides that they have no shortage of skill in their ranks as recent results show and the Irish will be very familiar with the likes of Semo Sititi, Earl Va’a, Brian Lima, Trevor Leota and Jeremy Tomuli. They hammered a New Zealand Divisional XV, beat the Waratahs and lost narrowly to Queensland Reds in their run up to this game. Granted the two Super 12 sides dinn’t have their internationals players but those games would have given the Samoans a coherence that say, the Tongans didn’t have.
Irish captain, Reggie Corrigan is well aware of the dangers facing his side, “We’re coming to the end of the tour and naturally enough guys are thinking of home. Of getting back to family and friends and going off on holidays. So there’s a real danger of getting distracted from the job in hand and we really must be careful about that.
” The Samoans will be better than Tonga, we know that and it’s going to be very hot. But we’re not looking for excuses or a way out. We’ll have to adapt to the circumstances and conditions whatever they are”.
Samoa v Ireland, Apia Park, Apia, Samoa.
Reggie Corrigan capt
Fa’atonu Fili; Lome Fa’atau, Dale Rasmussen, Brian Lima, Ron Fanuatanu; Earl Va’a, Denning Tyrell; Semo Sititi capt Maurie Fa’asavalu, Kitiona Viliamu; Leo Lafaialii, Opeta Palepoi; Jeremy Tomuli, Trevor Leota, Kas Lealamanua.
Jonathan Meredith (16), Tamato Leupolu (17), Des Tuiavi’i (18), Ponali Tapelu (19), Steven So’oialo (20), Gaolo Elisara (21), Dominic Feaunati (22).
Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand).
Touch judges: Kelvin Deaker (New Zealand, Lyndon Bray (New Zealand).