Rugby 14-man Ireland crush Samoa to book quarter-final spot

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Ireland are through to a World Cup quarter-final after seeing off Samoa in Fukuoka and securing a bonus-point along the way. 

They had to overcome the sending off of Bundee Aki in the 29th minute but had four tries on board by the end of the first half.

It secures passage to the knock-out stages, regardless of the result of tomorrow morning’s game between Japan and Scotland, which is under threat from Super Typhoon Hagibis.

World Rugby will assess the stadium in Yokohama as soon as is safe to do so but are eager to make a decision as quickly as possible.

The only way that Ireland can top the group – and avoid Pool B winners New Zealand on Saturday  – is if Scotland overtake the hosts by winning and not allowing Japan more bonus points. 

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If that comes to pass then Joe Schmidt’s side will face South Africa next Sunday as they bid to reach a semi-final for the first time.

The build-up to this game had centred around talk of the storm and the state of the pitch but Ireland had to put that to one side and focus on beating Samoa, who had lost to Scotland and Japan, but prevailed over Russia.

That was accomplished with tries from Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong, Johnny Sexton (2), Jordan Larmour, CJ Stander and Andrew Conway.

Getting his key players off the pitch fit and healthy was also a priority for the head coach and he withdrew Best and Sexton 10 minutes into the second half, with Conor Murray, Cian Healy and James

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