Ireland move into quarter-finals by crushing Samoa

12 Octobre, 2019, 16:28 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Robbie Henshaw

Ireland have expressed concerns with the state of the Hakatanomori Stadium pitch ahead of Saturday's decisive Pool A game with Samoa.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt inspects the pitch at the Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium where his side face Samoa this morning.

The surface was recently relaid having come under all sorts of pressure in the previous World Cup games held at the venue.

Given the current ongoing controversy over the decision to cancel rather than reschedule certain games due to typhoon Hagibis, .

Feek, who played test rugby for New Zealand, said it has been important for Ireland's players not to get too distracted by the growing typhoon talk - or about what might happen to the Scots.

"They told us in an email, both teams knew about it, we knew that they had to relay the pitch a bit, so we obviously went out there and had a bit of an inspection and we've been given all assurances by World Rugby that it's safe to play on and that's all we can ask for", Feek said.

"We just try back the players and trust the pitch will do its job at this stage". So, we're trying to alleviate any concerns while we're out there but then it's just a matter of wait and see.

"The referee will be aware of it, and what's key is the communication is there". "All the communication is there".

From a player's point of view, Keith Earls acknowledged that the pitch did not look good, but he insisted that it is not as bad as it seemed.

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"You just don't want those distractions for all of us to forget about how special the tournament is".

The pitch will nearly certainly cut up tomorrow, especially at scrum time and Feek admitted that he was anxious about it.

The pitch is in atrocious condition and will certainly cut up during today's game.

"As Earlsy said, it's fine running around out there, passing, kicking the ball, jumping, tackling and all the rest of that stuff, but when it comes to a static, isometric position like that where there's impacts going on, you're always going to be a little cautious and ask the questions". "We've got a good group of guys in keeping our focus on a good Samoan team".

"I just couldn't do that to myself and the jersey, and it just didn't cross my mind", he added.

"We saw a few grass patches but it's actually A grade grass, I think it just needs a bit more time, but there's nothing we can do about that now".

"We've been out there and that's why we do a captain's run, to get out there and see how it is. We can't control what happens with the Japan-Scotland game, so on Saturday it's up to us to get our business done as best we can".

It's been a hard few days for World Rugby as Typhoon Hagabis gets set to do a number on Japan. The primary driver was player welfare.

Samoa have lost each of their last 10 games against Tier 1 opposition at the Rugby World Cup, their last such victory coming back in 1999 against Wales. "While the look of the turf may not be flawless, as would be expected with a very recent installation, we are confident that the pitch will perform superbly".

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