Sport: Grounds for concern: Ireland must weather Samoa storm but pitch conditions could see turf war - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Sport Grounds for concern: Ireland must weather Samoa storm but pitch conditions could see turf war

09:40  12 october  2019
09:40  12 october  2019 Source:   independent.ie

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a person holding a football ball on a field: Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt inspects the pitch at the Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium where his side face Samoa this morning. Photo: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt inspects the pitch at the Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium where his side face Samoa this morning. Photo: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Ireland's crucial final World Cup pool clash against Samoa will go ahead as planned this morning (11.45) and although Joe Schmidt's men appear to have avoided Typhoon Hagibis, they have concerns of their own at the poor condition of the pitch in Fukuoka.

Ireland can guarantee a quarter-final spot by securing a bonus-point win over Samoa, which would lessen the anxiety levels over the next 24 hours.

At the end of a week in which World Rugby are in the spotlight after the cancellation of two pool games, a third may be on the way if Scotland don't get a chance to take on Japan tomorrow.

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Which could lead to an assumption, that in perfectly clear weather they're landing always or nearly always in visual. The use of ILS is at the discretion of pilots with ATC permission. The ILS localiser and glideslope can still be used as a reference during the visual approach (even if the landing is not

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a woman playing a game of football: Chris Farrell is able to fit a rugby ball under a loose sod of grass during yesterday’s captain’s run. Chris Farrell is able to fit a rugby ball under a loose sod of grass during yesterday’s captain’s run.

A last-minute decision on whether or not that vital game goes ahead will be made this morning. Scotland have already threatened to take legal action against the game's governing body if their game is cancelled, while Italy boss Conor O'Shea warned that the fixture must be treated in the same manner as the Azzurri's was.

Should the game be called off and Ireland beat Samoa, Scotland would be eliminated from the tournament, with Japan finishing as pool winners ahead of Ireland, regardless of today's result.

That would put Schmidt's men on course to meet New Zealand in the last eight on October 20, with the hosts set to meet South Africa.

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Robbie Henshaw, centre, with team-mates from left, Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne and Rhys Ruddock, during the Ireland Captain's Run at the Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium in Fukuoka, Japan. © Getty Images Robbie Henshaw, centre, with team-mates from left, Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne and Rhys Ruddock, during the Ireland Captain's Run at the Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium in Fukuoka, Japan.

After another bizarre day at the World Cup, Japan coach Jamie Joseph slammed those who he felt undermined his side's efforts by suggesting the Brave Blossoms would prefer the easy way out and have the game cancelled, which would result in a 0-0 draw and two points each.

Away from Tokyo, where one of the worst storms in years is due to batter the city, Ireland were dealing with issues of their own, albeit on a lesser scale.

After arriving at the Fukuoka Stadium for yesterday's captain's run, the players and coaches got a first chance to check out the recently relaid surface. They were not impressed by what they found.

The pitch is in atrocious condition and will certainly cut up during today's game. World Rugby have, however, stated in an official statement that they are "confident that the pitch will perform superbly".

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Conor Murray during the Ireland Captain's Run at the Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium in Fukuoka, Japan. © Getty Images Conor Murray during the Ireland Captain's Run at the Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium in Fukuoka, Japan.

Schmidt examined the surface very closely and although the Ireland head coach was not up for media duties, it was left to his assistant Greg Feek to address the concerns.

"You would have seen the pitch yourselves," Feek said. "We just had an inspection and we have been given all the assurances by World Rugby that it's safe to play on and that's all we can ask for.

"I don't want to predict anything or cause any more controversy at this stage. We will just try to back the players and trust that the pitch will do its job."

Schmidt will be hoping that his side get the required five points against Samoa and, in the process, come through the game without any casualties.

That may not be enough to overtake Japan at the top of the table, unless Scotland get a chance to beat the hosts, but CJ Stander insisted that Ireland cannot have any complaints if that situation arises.

"It's about what we can do to give ourselves a chance to get into the quarters and take another opportunity," the No 8 said.

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The weather can be nice but can also be bad. This being Ireland who knows? I have been at Patrick's Day parades in snow (one year I was walking in the parade and we couldn't see the crowds for snow - maybe there were none - so presumably they couldn't see us), in rain, in that kind of cold thin

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Ireland secure Rugby World Cup quarter final spot with a bonus-point victory over Samoa .
Ireland secured their Rugby World Cup quarter final place with a 47-5 bonus-point victory over Samoa. Rory Best scored the opening try of the game after only three minutes, Tadhg Furlong scored the second less than 10 minutes later, and with 21 minutes on the long the score was 21-0 as Johnny Sexton scored and converted Ireland’s third try. Samoa were given a glimmer of home when they pulled a try back through Jack Lam just a couple of minutes later. And things got better for them and worse for Ireland when Bundee Aki was given a red card for a a tackle direct to the head.

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