Ireland ended a run of four Test defeats but it was another lacklustre display as they struggled to subdue a physical Samoa team in front of a half filled Aviva stadium.
Jamie Heaslip’s 18th-minute try helped Ireland lead 10-0 but Leicester star Alesana Tuilagi replied for the visitors with the try of the match. This meant the home side went in to half-time at 13-7.
The second period and it was Samoa who closed the gap to three points as they dominated. But it was the old guard in Peter Stringer with a quick penalty that enabled Ronan O’Gara to score a late try easing Irish worries and giving the flattering final score of:
Ireland 20-10 Samoa
Tries: Heaslip, O’Gara Cons: O’Gara 2 Pens: O’Gara 2
Try: Tuilagi Cons: Williams Pens: Williams
Ireland: Fitzgerald, Bowe, Brian O’Driscoll, Paddy Wallace, Trimble, O’Gara, Stringer (Boss 77), Court, Cronin (Best 61), Hayes (Healy 64), O’Callaghan, Toner (Ryan 68), Leamy, O’Brien, Heaslip (Ferris 61).
Not Used: Sexton, Earls.
Samoa: Paul Williams, Lemi, Pisi (Gavin Williams 78), Mapusua, Alesana Tuilagi, Lavea (Poluleuligaga 69), Fotualii, Taulafo (Lemalu 77), Schwalger, Anthony Perenise, Levi (Tekori 71), Thompson, Treviranus (Aiono 71), Salavea, Stowers.
Not Used: Fualau, Helleur.
Referee: Keith Brown (New Zealand)