14 Jun 2017

Sport: Baby Manu at risk of relegation after fourth loss

2:12 pm on 14 June 2017

The Samoa Under 20s have been outclassed 52-26 by Ireland in their latest match at the Junior World Championship in Georgia.

Both teams failed to win a match in pool play and it was the Irish who raced out to a 19-0 lead inside 20 minutes.

Baby Manu lock Theodore Solipo charged over from 30 metres to put Samoa on the board eight minutes from half-time but five minutes later Howard Tagoai was yellow carded for offside play Ireland capitalised on their numerical advantage to add a fourth try on the stroke of half-time.

Ireland began the second half as they ended the first, with winger Calvin Nash turning the Samoan defence inside and out to score and extend their lead to 31-5.

It could have been worse for the Samoans but replacement halfback Pupi Ah See pulled off try-saving tackles on both Alan Tynan and Jack Stafford.

Samoa number eight Sione Tuipolotu is tackled in their ninth place semi-final with Ireland.

Samoa number eight Sione Tuipolotu is tackled in their ninth place semi-final with Ireland. Photo: Lasha Kuprashvili / World Rugby

Oisin Dowling was then sent to the sin bin before Setu Enoka scored Samoa's second try of the match from close range and Ricky Pauli Ene landed the conversion to cut the deficit to 31-12 tin the 58th minute.

But even a man down the Irish still found holes in the Samoan defence as Ronan Kelleher crashed over for his second try before the Pacific Islanders again found themselves a player short, with Tanielu Tele'a sin-binned for kicking out at an opponent while on the floor.

Ireland found time for two more tries in the final 16 minutes, either side of a deserved five-pointer to Pupi Ah See, consigning Samoa to a fourth straight defeat.

The Manu will next play Argentina in the playoff for 11th and 12th place, with the loser relegated to the second tier Junior World Trophy.