"There were a couple of contracts in France that I could have taken, but they had the condition that I had to turn down playing for Samoa in the World Cup and in the future as well", he said on the eve of their final match in Japan against Ireland.
Joe Schmidt's side did exactly what was required to guarantee their progress to the last eight, securing the try bonus point just before half-time that allowed them to keep their destiny in their own hands without relying on the outcome of Japan's clash with Scotland on Sunday.
"But once it's a red card you sense a loss of control over what happens next, no matter what you try to present".
"From the moment we set foot here in Japan, in the hosting cities, in Iwaki, right up to Kumagaya, everyone's been awesome, right down to here in Fukuoka", Lam said.
"We were tactically relatively solid once we lost Bundee because it would have been hard to play with a huge amount of width".
Samoa boss Steve Jackson pledged to make whatever representations necessary to help Aki avoid a ban, insisting the red card should prove punishment enough. There appeared no malice in the act, but referees are under strict instruction to harshly punish errant shoulders that make contact with the head or face.
With a quarter of the match gone New Zealand perfected a set-piece move from a scrum, spreading the ball out to the left-wing to Bridge who nearly went in for a try but from the resulting ruck, Smith picked and dived over the line in the left-corner for his second-try.
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"I wish Bundee all the best".
Samoa nearly got a second try late in the game but were denied by the TMO, ending their World Cup campaign in disappointment.
Backrower Jack Lam scored Samoa's only try, although both teams had a second-half try ruled out by the TMO.
Andrew Conway came off the bench to pounce on replacement fly-half Joey Carbery's grubber kick and scored the seventh try and his third of the tournament. It was awarded after one of several video reviews. From there they went through the phases close to the try-line before scrum-half Smith took a quick pick and go at the back of a ruck to touch down near the posts.
"It's the same any rugby game you play but as a front five forward, it's all about being as physical as you can and hopefully coming out on top".
The playmaker then got on the try-scoring list after 21 minutes, following outstanding work from Jordan Larmour on the right-hand side. It was a heavy hit, and Seuteni needed treatment on the field before going off.
TJ Ioane was one of two Samoan players to be yellow carded.
"It was pretty poor discipline from us", Jackson said.
Another penalty lineout maul pushed Ireland into the 22, and Furlong bulldozed through four defenders to claim a fine try.