Kidney glad to see back of Samoa
November 13, 2010
Declan Kidney reflected on Ireland's bruising 20-10 victory over Samoa by voicing his relief they are not in the same World Cup pool.
Ireland, who started as 1/66 favourites, struggled to despatch a side positioned 11th in the world rankings and endured a torrid third quarter. Ronan O'Gara eventually pulled them clear with a 66th-minute try - but it was a far from convincing performance in front of a disappointing 30,955 crowd at Aviva Stadium.
"I'm glad Samoa are not in our World Cup group. They're a tough, physical side," said Kidney. "It was bit of an arm wrestle for long periods of the game, especially in the second half when they had us tied down to our goalline.
"We became nervous when they built up some momentum and scored their try. It was 13-10 for 10 or 15 minutes with them pressing so I'm sure there were opportunities for them to win.
"We've been in situations like that before but managed to get the win this time. I never expected to be able to see them off because in World Cup year Pacific nations team are tough opposition.
"Samoa adapted better than I thought they would to the conditions. They were strong up front."
Alesana Tuilagi races forward during Samoa's defeat to Ireland © Getty Images
O'Gara also kicked two penalties and two conversions to finish with a 15-point haul while Jamie Heaslip crossed in the 18th minute amid a promising start from Ireland. But Samoa dominated after half time until O'Gara's try and would have had a great chance of winning had they made better use of the possession and territory.
Kidney admitted Ireland, who host New Zealand next Saturday, are struggling.
"We're not exactly firing on all cylinders to the extent that we're probably turning over a bit more ball than we want to," said Kidney. "But we're having a go at it and if you don't try things you won't learn. We're trying to play with the ball in hand.
"I'd prefer us to be trying things and making a few mistakes than not trying stuff." Samoa captain Mahonri Schwalger admitted his pride at the Pacific Nations Cup holders' performance was tempered by his belief they should have won.
"We came on this tour with the attitude that we can compete with the top teams in the world," said the Taranaki hooker. "We went out there and gave it everything we had. We should have won that game.
"I'm proud of what my boys did out there today. Now we have to build on that performance. What we find is that top teams make less mistakes. If we cut down on our mistakes we'll be one of the top teams as well.
"Ireland got away with a few things. Even in the last 10 minutes we thought we could have won the game. Ireland were relying on their set piece to dominate the game but were quite surprised by the way we fronted up."
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