Jackson: 'Samoa will be a dangerous proposition for Ireland'

Jackson: 'Samoa will be a dangerous proposition for Ireland'


Vaeluaga Steve Jackson believes his Samoan side will be all the more dangerous a proposition for Ireland this weekend precisely because of the fact that their involvement in this World Cup will end, regardless of the outcome, with the final whistle.

Samoa began their campaign with an ultimately comfortable win over Russia but they failed to score against Scotland second time out and, while they played much better against Japan, the Pacific Islanders ultimately went down to a 38-19 defeat which ended their hopes of making the last eight.

There is nothing tangible left for the squad to achieve now. Even the outside chance of a third-placed finish in Pool A, and the automatic place that would bring for the tournament in France in 2023, was taken away by Scotland's bonus-point win against Russia earlier this week.

But Fiji showed against Wales this week that a side all but out of this competition can still have a major impact and do damage to other's ambitions. Jackson is of the belief that the freedom that comes with knowing Samoa's fate can work as a positive here in Fukuoka.

“I think so. We just told our players that this is the last time this group will be together. We can't go any further in our pool than where we are at the moment so, at the end of the day, we are still playing for a bit of pride.

"We don't have anything to lose. They are in the top three in the world. We will be going out there to throw everything at it. I don't think the game will be won on penalties.

I think you will see both teams trying to play an expansive sort of a game and get as many tries as they possibly can because, even for Ireland, we don't know what is going to happen on Sunday with the typhoon.

"We don't know what the outcome of that (Japan-Scotland) game is going to be. Again, we are going out there to do the best we possibly can and try to knock over one of the top teams in the world.”

Jackson has made two changes to the team which started against Japan last time out. Logovi'i Mulipola comes in at loosehead and Teofilo Paolo takes his place int he second row.

The backline remains unchanged and that means another start for full-back Tim Nanai-Williams who was an injury doubt prior to this.

Nanai-Williams is a hugely experienced and capable player. Now with Clermont Auvergne in France, he is a childhood friend of Ireland's Bundee Aki and Jackson has lauded the 30-year old's influence on and off the field in terms of his leadership and character.

"What he does on the field, you've seen in the last few weeks that he's a quality player and he can open up teams just by the way he plays.

"Hopefully, the way the game goes on Saturday, he'll have the opportunity to do the same. We're not expecting anything less from him, his first mindset is to attack.

"He's a good defender as well and as he's shown he's good under the high ball. The players had their first real training today.

"We spent the last few days recovering from the last few weeks, just trying to freshen them up for a game and get them ready for a game that, really, we have got nothing to lose.”

Samoa (v Ireland):

T Nanai-Williams; AS Tuala, A Leiua, H Taefu, E Fidow; U Seuteni, D Polataivao; L Mulipola, S Lam, M Alaalatoa; T Paulo, K Le'aupepe; C Vui, TJ Ioane, J Lam.

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