By Tadhg Peavoy - firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday's international rugby scores:
RESULT: Italy 16-22 Argentina
RESULT: Ireland 20-10 Samoa
RESULT: England 35-18 Australia
RESULT: Wales 25-29 South Africa
RESULT: France 34-12 Fiji
RESULT: Scotland 3-49 New Zealand
1616 Well that's that for today. My colleague Rory Houston has pointed out that it is better that Ireland play poorly now and iron out any difficulties and selection headaches now, rather than at the World Cup next year.
I feel that glass-half-full philosophy is one we must carry forward. The quality of players are there for Ireland to compete as one of the best four teams in the world, the management team is the best ever assembled in this country and we want to play stylish rugby. The raw ingredients are present, now Declan Kidney must work out how to make them mesh. Let the debate recommence.
Thanks for joining us, as always, and see y'after.
FULL-TIME: IRELAND 20-10 SAMOA
81 mins Samoa collapse the scrum: Peno Ireland. They make no ground on the break as Ferris is almost cut in two in a feverish Samoan tackle. The ball is fired back to O'Driscoll who decides enough is enough and he boots to touch. Game over. Ireland get out of jail after a poor performance.
79 mins Scrum Samoa: They win it and break from their own 22. They make it out of the 22 but Fotualii knocks on. One last chance for Ireland.
78 mins Best hits Ryan again. Ireland maul it to the try line. Tom Court picks from the deck and makes a dart for the white line. As he reaches for the tryline he drops it forward - scrum Samoa.
78 mins Samoa concede a peno for hands in the ruck. Ireland kick for the corner. One metre out now.
76 mins Samoa kick downfield and win their line-out. As they spin-it wide they infringe at the breakdown and ROG clears downfield.
Rory Best to take the line-out. It is caught by Ryan. Best loops around the back of the lineout and takes it into contact. Ruck formed. Isaac Boss is on for Stringer.
76 mins Now, Samoa win a penalty. I believe for dissent from the Irish pack. Annoying.
75 mins Another scrum as Samoa collapse the scrum.
74 mins Scrum again: The ref calls for balance between the packs.
They engage and the scrum collapses. Two and a half minutes wasted on this awful scrumagging from Samoa. The tides have turned.
73 mins Scrum Ireland: It's a great scrum! Finally! Samoa stand up in the scrum and it must be reset Best and Healy have immediate effect!
72 mins Filipo Lavea Levi and Ofisa Trevarinus are off.
72 mins Joe Tekori and Afa Aiono on for Samoa.
71 mins The TMO agrees. He says the ball was held up and a scrum five to Ireland.
71 mins I can't see it being grounded on the video playback. If the TMO can't see it, a try cannot be awarded.
71 mins Stringer makes a halfbreak which he sets up well. Several pick and drives from Ireland and they reach the line. Healy is also now on for Hayes.
Healy picks and goes from a metre out and there is space. He crosses the line. It loks a try. The ref goes to the TMO.
70 mins Junior Poluleuligaga is on for Tasesa Lavea. Donncha Ryan is on for Devin Toner.
69 mins Fitgerald is fed the ball off a scrum ball. He places a wonderful kick into the Samoan corner. Ireland on top for the first time this half.
68 mins Ireland are so lucky, that is so against the run of play. Credit to Stringer and ROG, they saw the Samoans were asleep and capitalized. A fine example Munster cunning - brilliant play.
65 mins IRELAND TRY: Samoa spin wide to Tuilagi on the right wing off first phase. He makes 30-yards on the break but spills it forward. Ireland hammer it downfield and as Samoa cover back Williams concedes a peno for not releasing on the ground. Stringer takes it quick and pops to O'Gara who falls over the Samoan line from all of a metre. CONVERSION: ROG makes no mistake with the conversion. Ireland 20-10 Samoa.
63 mins Scrum time: They set again as the scrum collapses. Ireland shove well but Samoa win the ball. However, it pops out of the back and is kicked out.
Average scrum weights: Samoa 111kgs v Ireland 114kgs.
63 mins Levi charges at Ireland - three man bring him down. In the ensuing ruck the ball is unplayable and Samoa get the put in for the scrum.
62 mins Ireland set their scrum and play it back to ROG in the end-goal area. He drops it! Luckily backwards and recovers to clear to touch.
61 mins Rory Best is on for Sean Cronin. Ferris is on for Heaslip. Leamy goes to number eight, Ferris will play blindside flanker.
60 mins Paul Williams to go for goal from the 10-metre line way out on the left wing. PENALTY: Paul Williams to take it - he gets the angle right, but it doesn't have the legs and drops short. Ireland clear their lines.
59 mins Fizgerald runs it back but gets isolated and then Heaslip - I think - puts his hands in the ruck and concedes another penalty. Shambolic.
59 mins The ball is secured and Ireland set up the phases. Trimble comes off the wing and sets up, but there is no platform at the ruck and Samoa steal and kick downfield 50 yards.
58 mins Cronin goes short to number one in the line-out.
56 mins Samoa secure the ball and run it back. They are all over us. Luckily Samoa lose it in the ruck and Ireland can regroup. ROG kicks to touch and makes it, on to the 22.
55 mins PENALTY: From the 22-metre line to the left of the posts, Paul Williams hits the post and the ball bounces in! Lucky man! Ireland 13-10 Samoa.
53 mins Lavea feeds Tuilagi as Samoa batter away at Ireland on the green lines 22. Ireland concede a peno for offside.
Ireland are playing very poorly in this second half. The Samoa retention and lines of running in the backline are, quite simply, better.
But, we can recover.
50 mins Ireland regain the ball and play patient ruck balls into the Samoa 22.
Ireland go wide to Drico and he tries to pop inside, bad decision as the Samoans are right up in defence and the attack is snuffed out. Samoa clear into the Ireland half.
Ireland are playing too much rugby when there is no space. They need to work the phases and after six or seven breakdowns push through the inevitable gaps.
48 mins Ireland hold the scrum this time and Samoa spin wide. Thompon again picks and goes from the ruck. The Samoans are penalised for hands in the ruck. Stringer taps and goes and passes long to Drico, the captain kicks long and alleviates pressure. Samao hammer it back at Ireland. On the break Bowe runs crossfield and meets Trimble, Bowe continues to loop outside Trimble and darts down the left wing, Lemi knocks him into touch.
47 mins Samoa drive Ireland 5 metres back in the scrum and the ref calls a reset as Ireland stand up in the scrum.
45 mins Samoas lineout is poor, but they secure it just about. Samoa pick and drive through Thompson and then Schwalger, but their is accidental offside at the ruck and Ireland win a scrum. Ireland penalised again at the scrum. This scrum is getting worrying now.
44 mins Scrum Ireland: it is solid this time. Stringer box-kicks to touch - he makes the Ireland 22 line.
43 mins Stinger puts in to the scrum. Ireland engage early and Samoa gets a free-kick. Samoa on the Irish line. Crash ball off the free-kick. One on one on the wing the Samoan man is nailed by O'Callaghan and forces a spill. That was a sure try if not for O'Callaghan getting across to cover the space on the wing.
42 mins Knock-on Ireland at the kick-off and Samoa have a platform to attack. Stowers picks from the base of the scrum. Samoa take two phases to go wide and Tuilaigi crashes at Trimble. The ball goes forward from the winger and a let-off for Ireland on their own line.
41 mins We're off again.
1522 Paul has this opinion on the scrum:
Watch the Samoan number one, three times he dropped his shoulder, the third time, the ref gave Samoa the penalty against Hayes. Cheers Paul
1519 Eamonn, in principle you are right, a poor scrum can be minimized by quick entry and exit of the ball. However, the Irish props are collapsing or infringing at the scrum. If this happens the referee must penalise regardless of where the ball is.
Secondly, controlling the scrum, and therefore giving a steady platform to launch a) a backline attack b) a number 8, 9, 10 move or c) a kick to touch or at an opposing full back, is crucial in putting the opposition on the backfoot and stretching their defensive cover. I hope that answers your question Eamonn.
1518 Eamonn McEldowney, Donegal:
Granted I know very little about rugby but when Ireland’s scrum is so weak (and I’m trusting those in the know here who say that this is the case) why does Stringer not get that ball in and out of there as quickly as he can so we can at least maintain possession and perhaps score a try instead of hanging around for the referee to award the inevitable penalty against our front row? Maybe it’s not as simple as this is it? I’ve thought this about Stringer for years now, can someone please clear this up for me, seriously please, any chance the boys can answer this in the studio at half-time???????!!!!!!
Eamonn in Donegal
1517 Ray Cunningham:
Ireland's one loss to Samoa
I had totally blanked that loss from my memory, what an utterly dreadful game that was! The Samoan back line look good, could be a long hard day at the office for the lads!
HALF-TIME: IRELAND 13-7 SAMOA
40 mins Samoa clear to touch. The line is good and Samoa set the ruck. Fotualii box kicks and Trimble runs it back. Ireland set and Heaslip makes ten yards on a good line. Drico lingers on the right wing and ROG sees this, looping a pass out to his captain. Drico kicks fifty yards down the line - it drops into touch. But, as it does the clock ticks into the red and the ref calls half-time. That would have been a great attacking platform on the line: shame. HALF-TIME.
38 mins Wallace up the middle, he sets and Drico goes again. It come to Trimble on the 22, he drops it in contact and the attack ends. This is just too sloppy.
37 mins Stowers picks at the base of the scrum and passe to his outhald to clear, the ball is sliced. Ireladn line out and Toner takes it. Leamy takes the ball of the top and picks and goes.
37 mins Ireland - like against the Boks - cannot retain possession and the slickness in their passing game, which is usually so evident, has not been clear today; so far that is...
36 mins In the ruck O'Brien gets isolated and Samoa win the penalty.
35 mins Samoa lineout is a mess and Toner steals and drives into the 22. O'Callaghan feeds O'Brien as Ireland pick and go. Strigner goes short again to Cronin. Samoa are slowing it down. Stringer goes blind and feeds ROG on a backline switch, the number ten tries a blind pass on his inside to Wallace but Wallace is not there and Ireland lose it. Samoa clear to touch and Ireland secure the lineout.
34 mins Reverse kick from ROG into the Samoa 22. Woah! ROG is on form.
32 mins Lineout for Samoa and they go from the top, but as they take a crash ball up the middle Drico steals the ball with a ball and man challenge.
Ireland's Bowe loops into the middle and grubber kicks toward the line, but Lavea covers and hammers it back into Irish territory.
29 mins Massive hit from Trimble on Lemi. The ball is spilt by Samoa and as they scavenge backwards they kill the ball at the breakdown and Ireland get a penalty. ROG will go for goal from midway between the 22 and 10-metre lines. Slightly to the left of goal. PENALTY: ROG takes his third kick of the day and once more he makes it. Three from three. Ireland 13-7 Samoa.
29 mins Ireland concede another penalty at the breakdown. Oh dear, the scrum and the breakdown are not being dominated by the Irish boys. This could turn into a dogfight.
28 mins Again the scrum goes down and the peno is against Ireland for Hayes going in and under. Lavea boots the peno to the halfway line.
27 mins The Irish pack is driven back five yards and the ball has not been put in. Scrum sets again.
26 mins Scrum again as the first one collapses.
25 mins Samoa on the charge again, but they spill it on a pick and drive and Wallace plays some football kicking the ball on the ground towat the Samoa line. The blue shirts get back to snuff out the breakaway chance. Scrum to Ireland on the Samoa line.
23 mins TRY SAMOA: Good lineout from Samoa. They are on the Ireland 22. It comes out of the first ruck where Tasesa Lavea feeds Alesana Tuilagi looping around the outhalf from the left wing. He makes a clean line-break and the Ireland full back has no chance. Superb try from the Pacific Islanders. Paul Williams takes the conversion and makes no mistake. Ireland 10-7 Samoa.
22 mins The scrum collapses, Court is penalised for the second time today.
21 mins Ireland take the restart and set it up. Stinger tries a chip over the top of the ruck, and Lemi knocks on. Ireland scrum.
20 mins CONVERSION: ROG makes no mistake from right of the posts. Ireland 10-0 Samoa.
18 mins Off the top of the lineout it goes down the middle and O'Brien picks and goes from the first ruck. Court makes a metre. Healslip does the same.
TRY IRELAND: Ireland are camped on the Samoan line and after seven or eight pick and drives Jamie Heaslip goes again, he finds a chink of light in the wall of Samoan jerseys and darts over for an Ireland five-pointer. Ireland 8-0 Samoa.
17 mins ROG clears the penalty to the Samoan 22.
15 mins ROG has a kick blocked down and Bowe misses the pick-up. Fitzgerald comes to his rescue and sets up before IReladn run it from deep. A ruck is set up on the 10-metre line. Samoa infringe at the breakdown and Ireland can breath for a moment.
14 mins Court picks and goes, Stringer goes blind to Heaslip. Court again up the middle, then it goes wide to ROG who feeds Drico. The captain runs across field before being smashed in the tackle - at which point he knocks on. Drico was looking for Trimble on the wing, but Trimble was out of position leaving the captain isolated and with no other option than to go to contact.
13 mins Samoa's line-out is perfect, but their kick downfield goes into touch. Toner takes the line-out from Cronin. Great line-outs so far.
12 mins Scrum Ireland after a reset: Ireland concede for digging under the tighthead prop. Samoa kick to halfway.
10 mins Ireland steal and kick-long, Trimble chases and puts Lemi under pressure - he offloads to Williams who gets caught in possession but Samoa get it clear.
9 mins Free-kick to Ireland as Samoa infringe. ROG will hoof downfield. It si a massive boot but fails to find touch. Tuilgai runs it back at Heaslip and offloads, Tom Court takes down the next broken play runner.
7 mins Samoa pile forward with surging pick and drives. Ireland infringe at the breakdown and win a peno. It is too long for goal so Tasesa Lavea goes for touch.
6 mins Ireland claim the drop and spin wide on first phase. Trimble is hammered into touch. Samoa throw.
5 mins After two rucks, ROG kicks to Williams at full-back, he runs it back at Drico and Wallace. He sets up well. He loses it and Fitzgerald goes long with a kick, but it heads into the in-goal area and it is a 22-drop out for Samoa.
4 mins Cronin hits Toner at number four in the line-out. Samoa drag the line down and ROG will take the penalty. He kicks long to the 10-metre line.
3 mins Line-out Samoa on the Ireland 22. It goes to teh back and off the top from Thompson and Samoa skip to Tuilagi on the left wing, Bowe is forced to tackled Tuilagi into touch. Ireland ball-in.
2 mins Those points make O'Gara the fifth highest poitnts scorer of all time in international rugby.
2 mins Samoa claim and kick clear, however, there was advancing in front of the kicker and Ireland take a penalty back. ROG decides to go for goal from just outside the 22-metre area.
PENALTY: Slightly to the right of the posts, O'Gara takes his run-up and slots the shot. Ireland 3-0 Samoa.
1 min Ronan O'Gara starts the action!
1431 Pretty beastly looking lads those Samoans. I wouldn't fancy an arm wrestle.
1429 Now for Samoa's pre-match war dance called the Manu Siva Ta. The lyrics are:
The Manu Samoa, may you succeed in your mission
The Manu Samoa, here I come
There is no other Manu (team) anywhere
Here I come completely prepared
My strength is at its peak
Make way and move aside
Because this Manu is unique
The Manu Samoa
The Manu Samoa
The Manu Samoa reigns from Samoa
1428 And now, Ireland's Call, as the rain begins to pelt down and wetten the hallowed turf. Things building nicely, one can only hope the Irish lads want to repay the watching public this week with tries and precision.
1426 Amhrán na bhFiann follows the Samoan anthem.
1425 Anthem time. The Samoan national anthem entitled The Banner of Freedom belts out around the stadium:
Samoa, arise and raise your flag, your crown!
Samoa, arise and raise your flag, your crown!
Look at those stars that are waving on it:
This is the symbol of Jesus, who died on it for Samoa.
Oh, Samoa, hold fast your power forever.
Do not be afraid; God is our foundation, our freedom.
Samoa, arise: your flag is waving, your crown!
1424 As was the case against the Boks last week, the stadium looks fairly half empty once more. Really disappointing, in terms of atmospheric homecomings, the return to Lansdowne Road has been sadly lacking in vigour so far.
1422 The teams are emerging from the tunnel at Aviva Stadium. Game time baby!
1421 BREAKING NEWS:
Wales prop Gethin Jenkins and flanker Dan Lydiate have both been ruled out oftoday's clash against South Africa in Cardiff due to injury, the Welsh Rugby Union have announced. They will be replaced by Paul James and Andy Powell, respectively.
1417 Right folks, kick-off in D4 approaches, a reminder of the starting teams for today's encounter:
Ireland team to play Samoa in the Guinness Series 2010, Aviva Stadium, 13 November, kick-off 14:30.
15 Luke Fitzgerald, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (captain), 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Peter Stringer.
1 Tom Court, 2 Sean Cronin, 3 John Hayes, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 5 Devin Toner, 6 Denis Leamy, 7 Sean O'Brien, 8 Jamie Heaslip.
R Best, C Healy, D Ryan, S Ferris, I Boss, J Sexton, K Earls
Samoa XV to play Ireland in the Guinness Series at the Avia Stadium on Saturday, 2.30pm:
15 Paul Williams, 14 David Lemi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Seilala Mapusua, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Tasesa Lavea, 9 Kahn Fotualii.
1 Sakaria Taulafo, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 3 Anthony Perenise,
4 Filipo Lavea Levi, 5 Kane Thompsen, 6 Ofisa Trevarinus, 7 Manaia Salavea, 8 George Stowers.
1412 One of the key problems with Ireland agains the Boks was our lack of meaningful counter-attack from the back three. Fitzgerald has been entrusted with the task of resolving this issue, his jink and step trouble from the wing, however, his lack of size has yet to be questioned from the exposed parish a full-back preaches from. With Paul Williams, Alesana Tuilagi and a terrifying pack ready to decapitate the Leinster man, he will face no sterner test of his desire to run from deep.
1410 In the front five in particular there are Test match places against NZ up for grabs. The introduction of a new front row and Devin Toner in the second row should sort the line-out. If not, Gert Smal will once more return to an already well-used drawing board.
1405 After last week's defeat victory is paramount this afternoon. The type of rugby football Ireland play is also key; a good performance allied to a victory is the double-pronged armour Ireland so covet heading into the clash with the All Blacks.
Last week's off-the-cuff attacking rugby was so ineffective and error-strewn that it left a bitterness tasted all week in the media and public debate.
How this rejigged backline plays will put pressure on the Irishmen who started last week and demand that they up their game in order to ensure they are not dropped in the medium term.
1305 History bodes well for Ireland. In the four previous encounters between the teams, Ireland have won three and lost only one.
That sole defeat came for Ireland at the old Lansdowne Road on Tuesday 12 November 1996. It was a cold, dark, winter evening and Ireland were muck!
I remember this well, as I was present at the game, sitting in the South Stand and clutching a ten punt schoolboys' ticket.
1300 Hello and welcome to today's commentary. Ireland are on the back of six defeats and are desperately seeking a win to lift team spirits for the visit of the All Blacks next weekend.