14-man Ireland power to bonus point win over Samoa

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt

Below-par performances, including a shock 19-12 defeat to Japan, had set alarm bells ringing, but the men in green re-established their pre-tournament reputation as one of the favourites to comfortably make the quarter-finals.

Aki, who is of Samoan descent, was red carded in the 29th minute for a risky high tackle on Ulupano Seuteni, leading with his shoulder in the flyhalf's face. Despite being one of his country's sharpest players in Japan, he has yet to score at this tournament - and the same goes for the prolific Jacob Stockdale (16 tries in 23 appearances), who starts on the other wing against the Samoans.

Best got the first try in the fourth minute from a driving maul.

Both Tonga and the USA have lost all three games in Japan, although Tonga came close against France.

If that game is called off, Japan and Ireland will advance to the quarterfinals.

Johnny Sexton scored two tries and finished with 18 points.

But, there was an advantage too for Ireland who started with a solid win against Scotland then went off the boil against Japan and Russian Federation, and Samoa gave them a chance to get their green machine working smoothly again.

If the game is cancelled because of Typhoon Hagibis, which slammed into Japan on Saturday, the host team will qualify ahead of Scotland.

"There were a couple of contracts in France that I could have taken, but they had the condition that I had to turn down playing for Samoa in the World Cup and in the future as well", he said on the eve of their final match in Japan against Ireland. "We're lucky enough our game is going ahead".

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"We've certainly got more bodies available and that's a positive for starters", he said.

But that sparked an angry response from World Rugby, who said they were "disappointed" with Dodson's comments, insisting the Scots were happy to sign up to the rules which prohibit pool matches being rescheduled before the tournament.

Ireland were conciliatory in their press conference this morning, with assistant coach Greg Feek saying he "did not want to predict anything or cause any more controversy at this stage".

"We've had a terrific time in Japan so far ... but we came here with a job in hand and that was to win test matches", Hogg said.

World Rugby investigated relocating those two games - at Yokohama and Toyota - to venues further away from the typhoon's path but said it wasn't logistically possible because of safety concerns.

The game which was initially anticipated to be called-off was given a go-ahead by World Rugby after Super Typhoon Hagibis changed course but nevertheless the teams had hard conditions to encounter at Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium.

When flanker TJ Ioane was sent to the sin-bin for a ruck infringement, one of 17 penalties conceded by Samoa, Ireland mounted a sustained forward-led attack which resulted in a try to backrower CJ Stander before Andrew Conway completed their scoring.

This is the first time that the two sides have met at the RWC.

Not everyone has been so understanding about the decision to cancel games. "Knowing that we're on an airplane on Monday, going home - to have a scalp like that would be great", Samoa coach Vaeluaga Steve Jackson said. "Our message to fans continues to be stay indoors today, stay safe and monitor official Rugby World Cup social and digital channels".

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