PADDY Jackson’s “assured” display further boosts Ireland’s fly-half competition, according to head coach Joe Schmidt. The 21-year-old Ulster playmaker led Ireland’s line in Saturday’s 40-9 victory over Samoa.
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: O’Mahony, O’Brien, D. Kearney 2, McFadden. Cons: Jackson 3. Pens: Jackson 3. Samoa: Samoa: Pens: T. Pisi 2, Fotuali’i.
Jonathan Sexton’s hip-injury absence led to a fight between Jackson and Leinster’s Ian Madigan for the No 10 shirt. Schmidt had explained in the build-up how Madigan’s limited club opportunities were a hindrance. And after the win, the coach felt vindicated in handing the form club man the place.
“Paddy was really assured,” said Schmidt. “It’s not easy to come into that mix and control things like that, but I think we saw the evidence of his club form helping him settle.”
After a tight first period, Samoa buckled in the second half, with tries by Dave Kearney (2), Sean O’Brien and Fergus McFadden adding to Peter O’Mahony’s first-half try.
Ireland: R. Kearney, Bowe, O’Driscoll, D’Arcy, McFadden, Jackson, Murray, McGrath, Best, Ross, McCarthy, Toner,
O’Mahony, Henry, Heaslip. Subs: D. Kearney for Bowe (61), Madigan for O’Driscoll (71), Reddan for Murray (60), Healy for McGrath (61), Cronin for Best (61), Fitzpatrick for Ross (61), O’Connell for O’Mahony (54).
Samoa: Autagavaia, Leiua, G. Pisi, Leota, Vaaulu, T. Pisi, Fotuali’i, Taulafo, Avei, Mulipola, Lemalu, F. Paulo, Treviranus, Lam, T. Tuifua. Subs: I. Tuifua for G. Pisi (76), Otto for Vaaulu (56), Su’a for T. Pisi (56), Afatia for Taulafo (75), T. Paulo for Avei (51), Tekori for Lemalu (51), Faosiliva for F. Paulo (78)..
Referee: S Walsh. Attendance: 42,000