Wednesday 16 October 2019

'We have got nothing to lose and that makes us dangerous' - Samoa coach's warning to Ireland

Steve Jackson, Head Coach of Samoa
Steve Jackson, Head Coach of Samoa

Cian Tracey in Fukuoka

Samoa head coach Steve Jackson has admitted that his side have got nothing to lose in Saturday's clash with Ireland as they look to cause a major upset, which could derail Ireland's World Cup.

Samoa have already been eliminated from the tournament and on the back of what they feel were some tough decisions made against them, the Islanders are out to prove a point against Ireland.

Jackson has been handed a major boost with the availability of Tim Nanai-Williams, who has been passed fit.

The Clermont Auvergne full-back had been struggling with a knock but Samoa's key man has been included in the starting XV.

Samoa have made two changes to the team who were beaten by Japan last weekend.

Logovii Mulipola comes in at loosehead in place of Jordan Lay, who drops to the bench while Teofilo Paulo comes into the second-row for Piula Faasalele, who also named amongst the replacements.

Jack Lam, who is a cousin of former head coach Pat, will captain Samoa form number eight.

"The players had their first real training today," Jackson said.

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"We spent the last few days recovering from the last few weeks, just trying to freshen them up for a game and get them ready for a game that really, we have got nothing to lose."

Asked if he felt that made Samoa even more dangerous, Jackson continued:

"I think so. We just told our players that this is the last time this group will be together.

"We can't go any further in our pool than where we are at the moment so at the end of the day, we are still playing for a bit of pride. We don't have anything to lose.

"They (Ireland) are in the top three in the world. We will be going out there to throw everything at it.

"I don't think the game will be won on penalties. I think you will see both teams trying to play an expansive sort of a game and get as many tries as they possibly can because even for Ireland, we don't know what is going to happen on Sunday with the typhoon.

"We don't know what the outcome of that game is going to be. Again, we are going out there to do the best we possibly can and knock over one of the top teams in the world."

Jackson is delighted to be able to call upon Nanai-Williams, who he acknowledged that he is crucial to Samoa's hopes of beating Ireland.

"Timmy is massive, not only for what he can do on the field but he's he gives great leadership within the group," Jackson added.

"He's a bit of a character, he likes to have a bit of a laugh and he's a cheeky little bugger. He's great to have around in the team.

"What he does on the field, you've seen in the last few weeks that he's a quality player and he can open up teams just by the way he plays.

"Hopefully, the way the game goes on Saturday, he'll have the opportunity to do the same. We're not expecting anything less from him, his first mindset is to attack.

"He's a good defender as well and as he's shown he's good under the high ball."

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