Ireland have been taking the World Cup by storm. Except that’s exactly what they might be facing in the competition’s last-eight clash against Samoa this Saturday.
Indeed, their venue, the Fukuoka Stadium, is smack bang in the middle of Kyushu City, which is forecasted to feel the full force of Typhoon Hagibis this weekend.
If the game is affected by weather conditions, our Ireland vs Samoa predictions could take a turn for the worse. While at the moment we’re expecting an emphatic victory for the Irish, any cancelled matches will translate into scoreless draws.
A result that will not bode well for Joe Schmidt’s men, as it would mean that Scotland would leapfrog them into second place.
But as they say, when it rains, it pours. And in this case, Samoa could be in for a lashing…
Ireland vs Samoa Predictions
The pre-tournament 2019 Rugby World Cup predictions forecasted good form for the Irish.
But there was a sting in the tale when Schmidt’s side faced the hosts Japan a fortnight ago.
In style of the same upset that saw the Japanese sink the South Africans four years ago, Ireland were defeated in a shock upset, barely left with the chance to claim a bonus point towards the quarter-finals, thanks to some quick-thinking from Joey Carbery.
Yet last weekend’s resounding 35-0 victory over the Russians provided hope that their journey may continue well into the latter stages of the competition.
it was the first-half efforts of Rob Kearney, Peter O’ Mahoney, and Rhys Ruddock that means that Ireland remains on course to make it to the last eight stages.
And the second-half performance was merely the icing on the cake, with Andrew Conway securing the bonus point that Schmidt so dearly wanted.
Execute a similar performance against the Samoans and Ireland will be in a much better position than they ordained in the aftermath of that Japan defeat.
Fortunately, they face a side currently experiencing defensive disarray – Samoa. And none more so evident than in their harrowing 34-0 loss to Scotland.
All throughout the game, the Scots were rampant on the attack. Whether it was Finn Russell’s kicking, Sean Maitland’s blistering speed down the left-wing, or Greig Laidlaw’s power and strength, Samoa simply could not contain them.
For SteveJackson, there is a real fear that a similar scoreline could ensue. He more than anyone will be praying for the heavens to open and release their wrath onto the Fukuoka Stadium.
Especially considering the calibre of players that Ireland possess that could easily penetrate the Samoan backline.
Leading the charge is the popular Johnny Sexton.
Captaining the side for the first time in the tournament, the 34-year-old’s return from injury has been a timely one.
Sexton’s experience, tactical knowledge, and spatial awareness are highly valued by Schmidt. So much so, that he was substituted off after half-time to ensure the remained fit for this weekend’s clash against Samoa.
With the Irishman leading the line, there’s very little Samoa will be able to do to counter Ireland and rack up points. Well, other than pray for rain.
Ireland vs Samoa Head To Head
Bar one victory more than 20 years ago, this fixture has been a productive one for the Irish.
Four consecutive victories are the prognosis, to be frank about it, and it’s one that fuels our Ireland vs Samoa predictions.
And the most recent result is a troubling one for travelling Samoa fans. Indeed, a harrowing 40-9 defeat, preceded by a 14-40 loss has left Samoa in concerning territory.
What’s more, there is every chance that, if weather permits, a similar scoreline could play out this weekend.
Ominous times indeed.
Ireland Team News
Perhaps even more ominous is the positive news the Irish have on the injury forefront.
And that comes in the form of the return of Carbery, who has finally declared himself fully fit. The Irishman was taken along to the World Cup, despite still recovering from an ankle injury.
And as minor of a knock it was, the 23-year-old was still sidelined in the early fixtures against Russia.
Against Japan? That’s another story altogether, as it was the former Leinster playmaker himself who kicked the ball into touch, keeping Ireland in reach of a bonus point.
Yet, Carbery is now ready to repay Ireland for their good faith with a performance against the Samoans, akin to that of his domestic form.
Which our Ireland vs Samoa predictions are wagering will spell trouble for the opposing defence.
Samoa Team News
Samoa on the other hand, haven’t been blessed with the same good fortune.
Indeed, Jackson and co have been sweating on the injuries that captain Jack Lam and scrumhalf Scott Malolua picked up prior to the World Cup.
The injuries in question, a knock to the eye and a dislocated shoulder, seem relatively routine. But, the pair are still in recovery, which hasn’t made squad choices any easier.
Fortunately, the rest of the squad remains unchanged, which will do wonders for continuity. Especially given the current mood in the Samoan camp.
Ireland vs Samoa Betting Tips
It seems as if the betting tipsters are swaying in the favour of our Ireland vs Samoa predictions, given the odds available for this Saturday’s match.
Indeed, the Irish are wagering as 3/100 odds-on favourites. While Jackson’s men aren’t as lucky in our Ireland vs Samoa match bets, operating as a 21/2 pick.
Meanwhile, the probability of a draw unfolding (65/1) isn’t any more appealing. Of course, this remains in the hands of mother nature.
But as far as our forecasts go, it could be another dark and dismal game for Samoa.