Samoa will be Ireland’s final opponents in the pool stages of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, following their qualification for the tournament in Japan via a two-legged play-off against Germany.
Samoa survived a scare in Heidelberg on Saturday, scoring three tries in the last 11 minutes to confirm their place at Rugby World Cup 2019 with a 42-28 second leg victory over Germany. They take the ‘Play-Off Winners’ berth in Pool A thanks to a 108-43 aggregate success.
Having arrived in Europe with a 66-15 advantage from the first leg in Apia, the visitors were all-but assured of their place in Pool A, however, an unlikely defeat looked to be on the cards when the hosts took a 28-21 lead with less than 15 minutes remaining.
Samoa had paid the price for an error-strewn performance but clicked into gear as Ah See Tuala – their standout player over the two legs – scored twice either side of an Ed Fidow try to break Germany’s resolve and spare his own side’s blushes. Tuala finished the match with 22 points, while Fidow and scrum half Melani Matavao each also touched down twice.
Ireland and Samoa will meet in the final round of the 2019 Rugby World Cup’s pool stages in Fukuoka on Saturday, October 12 (kick-off 7.45pm local time/11.45am Irish time). It will be their first ever World Cup clash following on from six previous encounters, the most recent of which was Joe Schmidt’s first Test in charge of Ireland – a 40-9 win at the Aviva Stadium in November 2013.
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IRELAND’S 2019 RUGBY WORLD CUP POOL A MATCH SCHEDULE:
Sunday, September 22 –
IRELAND v Scotland, International Stadium, Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama, 4.45pm local time/8.45am Irish time
Saturday, September 28 –
Japan v IRELAND, Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Shizuoka Prefecture, 4.15pm local time/8.15am Irish time
Thursday, October 3 –
IRELAND v Russia, Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe, 7.15pm local time/11.15am Irish time
Saturday, October 12 –
IRELAND v Samoa, Hakatanomori Football Stadium, Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka, 7.45pm local time/11.45am Irish time
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