Preview by Leonard Solms.
Ireland have been left scrambling to clinch a place in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals after a 19-12 defeat to Japan put them on the back foot. They can put that behind them with a bonus-point win over Samoa.
That bonus-point win will ensure they are absolutely certain of progressing to the quarterfinal from Pool A – a pool which has been thrown into a complex calculation conundrum due to adverse weather.
Steve Jackson’s side has been hit and miss at the Rugby World Cup. Samoa showed promise in flashes during the 34-9 win over Russia, but they have since been resoundingly beaten by Scotland and Japan.
Live match updates will follow below the preview.
Ireland are coming off the back of a 35-0 win over Russia themselves, but they were not quite at their best in that game despite showing brilliance in patches.
“We will set our sights on Samoa because we need to win there to have a chance of qualifying,” said Schmidt after the bonus-point win over the Bears.
“In the end when you get to a quarter-final, everything hinges on the quarter-final itself.”
Johnny Sexton captained an under-strength Ireland XV in their last game, but although the flyhalf is almost certain to play again, Schmidt is likely to bring back many of the players who sat out the last game.
Ireland are expected to come out on top here with another bonus point win. Joe Schmidt’s men are predicted to win by 20 points.
Rugby World Cup fixtures: Ireland vs Samoa
Kick off is at 12:45 SAST.
Read our explainer for more details on the two Rugby World Cup games cancelled in the wake of a raging typhoon.
France will also be keeping one eye on this fixture in Pool A – where a myriad scenarios are set to determine who they will face in the 2019 Rugby World Cup quarterfinals.