Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Kidney impressed with Samoa

Declan Kidney

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."

He added: "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."

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.

"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."

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