It looks very likely that Ireland will be joined by Samoa in Pool C of the 2019 World Cup after the defeated Germany on a scoreline of 66-15.
The match was the first of a two-leg qualifier between the sides, the winner joining Ireland in Pool A for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
Samoa now look exceedingly likely to advance as long as they can score more than Germany over the two legs. They will join Ireland, Scotland, Japan and Russia who have already qualified for the tournament.
Ed Flidow scored a hat-trick for Samoa in the play-off game that leaves Germany with a 51 point deficit to overturn in the second leg. If they fail to overturn the 10 try margin, they will compete in a repechage competition in November.
The World Cup will be held between September and November of next year as Joe Schmidt’s men will hope to benefit from their most advantageous pool in a number of tournaments to advance past the quarter-final stage for the first time.
When Ireland last met Samoa, in the 2013 Autumn Internationals, they ran out easy 40-9 winners.