O'Gara & Stringer Save Ireland's Blushes Again.
A week ago their very late introduction saved Ireland from a comprehensive defeat and today in the Aviva Stadium, Peter Stringer and Ronan O'Gara combined in the 66th minute to fashion the try that settled this game 20-10 in Ireland's favour at a time when they looked in danger of defeat.
A 17th minute, Jamie Heaslip
try converted by O'Gara, who tagged on two penalties, had Ireland leading 13-7 at half-time, Samoa's try came in the 22nd minute when Alesana Tuilagi
burst through for a score near the posts.
But for the best part of the third quarter it was Samoa who made all the running and they had the opportunity to tie the game with a penalty that Paul Williams missed albeit from distance.
Rather than be discouraged, the visitors continued to dominate but uncharacteristically turned over a ball on the Irish 22 for Munster man Donncha O'Callaghan to kick downfield.
The Samoans retrieved the greasy ball ten metres from their line but were penalised for holding on and Stringer, rather than opting for the obvious - a three pointer - took a quick tap, found O'Gara who skipped a tackle to score under the posts.
Perhaps the merit of this Irish performance can be judged from the fact that the Man of the Match Award went to Samoan scrum-half Kahn Fotualii because although Ireland ended the game battering at the Samoan line it was a disappointing performance despite the awful weather conditions.
In other games played today South Africa defeated Wales 29-25 under a closed roof Millennium Stadium - last week the Welsh left it open when they played the All Blacks - and in what might be deemed bad news for Munster, Australia were beaten 35-18 by England in Twickenham.