The cards keep coming in this year’s World Cup with Samoa and Ireland both adding to the tallies in their fixture on Saturday with Samoan hooker Seilala Lam yellow-carded and Irish midfielder Bundee Aki red-carded.

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The heavily scrutinised tackle area has become the hottest talking point, outside of Typhoon Hagibis, and contention continues for confused spectators after Samoa hooker Seilala Lam was yellow-carded for a textbook tackle on Jacob Stockdale after contact with the head was spotted.

Continue reading below…

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What made this incident such a debated topic is Lam has a solid case to argue that he did nothing wrong as Stockdale lowered his upper body into the contact looking to forcefully bump the defender off. With Stockdale’s leading knee and dropped forearm, Lam’s target for a safe tackle was extremely limited.

Fans were left confused as Lam ‘couldn’t go any lower or he would have been underground’ calling the yellow card ‘a joke’ that is turning the sport into a farce.

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Samoa’s World Cup campaign has been blighted by yellow cards, picking up seven in four matches that left them playing every match with 14-men for extended periods.

Despite being one of the most penalised teams at the World Cup, the side is throwing their support around Ireland’s centre Bundee Aki who was red-carded in the match for a high shot following a loose ball competition.

“Again, as we’ve seen if there is any contact with the head, people have been penalised. We lost a couple of players but I hope no further sanction comes to him because I hope he can go further in this tournament and play,” head coach Steve Jackson said following the game.

“We’ll do everything we possibly can from a Samoan perspective to make sure that he gets on that field next week.”

Samoa will be left to review their campaign in search of bigger and better things next time. Jackson hopes his side’s efforts will inspire the next generation of Samoans to represent the blue and red.

“We just have to make sure players want to play for Samoa. Guys came over here and put the jersey before a piece of paper (club contract).

“We have to change a lot of minds and persuade players this is the route to go down, especially the people in European clubs. I don’t have to talk about eligibility and availability but hopefully, some common sense in the next four years will change a few things.

“But we also have to look in our own backyard and at our development and ensure we capture them to play for us.”

Former Chiefs fullback Tim Nanai-Williams also shared a similar sentiment, encouraging any up and coming players to stick with the country they are passionate about.

“To be honest, I just want to just leave a legacy, to really push the kids that are coming through to really stick with the country they are passionate about.

“If it is Samoa or whatever country it is, just go with it because that’s what I did.

“I was very happy to pick Samoa because of the heritage and my upbringing.”

RugbyPass World Cup city guide – Kumamoto:

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