Irish will be wary of Samoan threat
November 9, 2010
Ireland and Samoa last collided in Dublin nine years ago © Getty Images
Ireland's clash with Samoa at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday represents only the fifth meeting between the two countries.
The pair collided for the first time at the old Lansdowne Road in October of 1988, with the Irish coming out on top 49-22 after a gloriously open encounter which featured 12 tries in total, eight of which went the way of the hosts.
It was a very different story, though, when Samoa returned to Dublin eight years later and caused a major surprise by outscoring Ireland by five tries to one on their way to a scintillating 40-25 success.
The two sides locked horns again at Lansdowne in 2001 and this time it was Ireland who cruised to victory, with Tyrone Howe, Geordan Murphy, Jeremy Staunton and Frankie Sheahan all touching down in comfortable 35-8 triumph.
Ireland also bossed proceedings when the two sides went head to head in Fiji for the first time, in Apia in the run-up to the 2003 World Cup, with the visitors prevailing 40-14.
Irish fans will be anticipating another facile win this weekend but they should be wary of taking victory for granted, as they did in 1996.
Ireland v Samoa All-time record: Played: 4, Ireland won 3, Samoa won 1.
Biggest winning margin: Ire: 27, at Lansdowne Road, 1988 and Lansdowne Road, 2001; Sam: 15, 40-25 at Lansdowne Road, 1996.
Highest score: Ire: 49 (49-22) at Lansdowne Road, 1988; Sam: 40 (40-25) at Lansdowne Road, 1996.
Most tries: Ire: 8 (49-22) at Lansdowne Road, 1988; Sam: 5 (40-25) at Lansdowne Road, 1996.
Longest winning sequence: Ire 2 (2001-present day); Sam: 1 (1996-2001).
Most points (individual): Ire: Ronan O'Gara 47; Sam: Earl Va'a 27.
Most tries (individual): Ire: 2 Keith Crossan and Ronan O'Gara; Sam: 2 Afato So'oalo, To'o Vaega and Phineas Young.
Most points in a Test: Ire: 32 Ronan O'Gara at Apia Park, 1996; Sam: 15 Earl Va'a at Lansdowne Road, 1996.
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