Rugby Rugby World Cup: Larmour runs free as Ireland find their the groove against Samoa

Rugby These constituents are magnificent!

Ireland 47 Samoa 5

This was timely and reassuring. Save for a few minutes after the double whammy of Samoa’s try and Bundee Aki’s sending off, this bonus-point win and with it Ireland’s safe passage to the quarter-finals was never in doubt.

The pack, containing seven of the forwards who set about strangling Scotland in the opening match, and six of the pack which started the win over New Zealand last November, were back in their familiar groove.

The lineout had a perfect return from 16 throws, their maul laid down a marker from the outset and their breakdown work (118 out of 119 recycled) was vintage Ireland, the first two effecting clearouts with unrelenting accuracy.

The game will be notable for Aki’s red card, but in truth this was defined more by Samoa’s ill-discipline. Not alone did two more yellow cards take their tally to seven in the tournament, their repeated infringements, at the breakdown especially, might have seen that total rise further. As it was the 17-5 penalty count gave Ireland continual set-piece entry points inside the Samoa’s 22.

Behind such a dominant pack, on the day they equalled the Peter Stringer-Ronan O’Gara record of 55 Test starts together,

Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton – whose tally of 57, including two for the Lions, is the second highest in the history of international rugby – were also in a familiar groove.

They controlled the game with their decision making, kicking and execution. The World Player of the Year was simply class, and nothing did more to settle nerves after Aki’s dismissal than Sexton’s second try, a sharp blindside finish on half-time from Murray’s pass.

Rugby Bundee Aki tackles Samoa’s Ulupano Seuteni, a challenge that saw the Ireland centre receive a red card. Photograph: Hiroshi Yamamura/EPA
Bundee Aki tackles Samoa’s Ulupano Seuteni, a challenge that saw the Ireland centre receive a red card. Photograph: Hiroshi Yamamura/EPA

With their full complement of 15 players, there had also been a better shape to Ireland’s efficient attacking game, with more tip-ons, offloads, good angles of running and plenty of width.

Meet this fancy ingredient.

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