Ireland skipper Rory Best is taking a philosophical approach to Saturday’s critical clash with Samoa, keeping calm as Typhoon Hagibis wreaks havoc on the Rugby World Cup schedule.
Ireland must score a bonus point win (with four tries) to keep their fate in their own hands in a three-way battle for two quarter-final spots from the hotly contested Pool A.
Scotland and Japan, the two other contenders, will not know until hours before kick-off on Sunday whether their game will go ahead as the typhoon powers towards their Yokohama venue.
Ireland will definitely play their match in Fukuoka, several hundred kilometres southwest of Hagibis’ projected path and this “probably makes it easier” for Ireland, according to Best.
“We go out, we play our game. You assume the (Scotland-Japan) game goes ahead on Sunday and, if it doesn’t, you cross that bridge when you come to it.”
Among the various scenarios to decide the pool, if Ireland don’t score four tries, they could finish the pool phase with only one loss but still be on an early flight home.
Best said his green machine did not lack confidence, but needed a bit of polish after being too good for Scotland and Russia but suffering a shock loss to Japan.
“The bits we did well were very typical of us. The bits we didn’t do well… we didn’t follow through with some of the fundamentals that we do really well when we’re on top of our game,” he said.
“When you look at that, you take confidence you’re in a good place, but you just need to execute better.”
Ireland vs Samoa: Rugby World Cup kick-off time and prediction
Kick off time: It’s a lunch time snack. Kick off as at 12:45 SAST on 12 October 2019. All the action is live on SuperSport 1.
the RWC, we’ll be using a prediction algorithm from a New Zealand anorak.
Prediction: Ireland are firm favourites by the algorithm’s estimation – tipped to win by over 20 points.
RWC 2019 live scores and result: Ireland vs Samoa
Additional reporting by AFP/World Rugby.