Ireland have qualified for the World Cup quarter-finals after a 47-5 bonus-point victory over Samoa in Fukuoka on Saturday. Joe Schmidt’s men put themselves under pressure when losing to Japan in the shock of the tournament to date but they were far too good for the Pacific Islanders, this despite being reduced to 14 men in the 28th minute when Bundee Aki was given a red card for a high tackle.
The men in green had already established a 21-5 lead before Aki’s dismissal but ran in seven tries in total, with Jonathan Sexton bagging two while also landing four of five attempted conversions. Rory Best got the ball rolling as early as the fourth minute with Ireland’s first five-pointer before Tadhg Furlong added the second six minutes later.
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Sexton touched down in the 21st and 39th minutes as the Six Nations outfit took a 26-5 lead into the half-time break. Jack Lam’s 26th-minute score was no more than a consolation for Samoa – who had to contend with two sin bins themselves – as Jordan Larmour crossed the whitewash three minutes after the interval before CJ Stander and Andrew Conway also went over to complete the rout.
Joey Carbery took over the kicking duties and slotted two from two conversions as Ireland set up a last-eight clash with either South Africa or New Zealand. That will depend on the result of Scotland’s match with hosts Japan on Sunday – if the weather allows it to take place.