Ireland know exactly what they have to do. They have to win and ideally get a bonus point.

It couldn't be more clear but I think they have huge respect for the opposition that they face.

The Samoan side is jam-packed with players who play in the Premiership in England or the Top 14 or Pro D2 in France and two in Super Rugby. That will certainly focus the mind.

I like the balance to the team. Certainly, the back three of Larmour, Stockdale and Keith Earls really excites.

The return of Robbie Henshaw in midfield hopefully means that that back three will see a little bit more of the ball.

And of course Johnny Sexton is the catalyst for this team. Unfortunately, he hasn't played a whole lot of rugby in the tournament, missed the game against Japan, but even in the first half against Russia you could see the quality he brings in terms of his kicking and passing game.

I think that's going to be vital in terms of the way Ireland will look to step up their attacking approach.

They played really well against Scotland in their opening game. They've stuttered in the last two but there's no room for excuses.

The front five is our first-choice front five and they have to set the platform and impose themselves.

If they play well tomorrow, play with the type of intensity and physicality that we know they can, create a little bit more for the back three, I think the mindset changes immediately.

It is only two weeks since they delivered that top-class performance against Scotland.

As of now, if they are through, we don't know whether it will be a quarter-final against New Zealand or South Africa.

You will have to get back to the levels of 2018 to have any hope of competing with those. You're certainly going to have to have your best performance of 2019.

Getting the performance tomorrow is all important in terms of clearing the cobwebs and getting rid of the doubts that were there due to the sort of unforced errors, poor handling errors and inability to retain possession that were highlights of the games against Japan and Russia.

Match cancellations

It's not ideal, in terms of the integrity of the competition, what has happened.

I fully understand why they have to call off games. Safety is paramount for supporters.

That said, some teams having a rest and not playing a fourth match, in the lead-in to a quarter-final, is far from ideal.

People might have thought Italy's chances of beating New Zealand were slim to none but players like Parisse and Ghiraldini were primed to play their last game and that has been taken away from them.

Eddie Jones'comments bragging about England having extra time to prepare haven't helped.

The ground rules have changed and it's not a level playing field for all teams.

It's the nightmare scenario for the organisers but the players, as always, just have to get on with it.

Donal Lenihan was speaking on RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland 

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