Rugby World Cup: Japan beats Samoa and remains in the race for the quarter-finals

Finally attractive! Japan had a great evening in Toulouse, Thursday September 28, logically beating Samoa 28-22, a victory which maintains the hope of a Japanese qualification for the quarter-finals, at the same time as it eliminates the players of the Pacific in the race for the first two places in Group D, despite the defensive bonus point

Rugby World Cup: Japan beats Samoa and remains in the race for the quarter-finals

Finally attractive! Japan had a great evening in Toulouse, Thursday September 28, logically beating Samoa 28-22, a victory which maintains the hope of a Japanese qualification for the quarter-finals, at the same time as it eliminates the players of the Pacific in the race for the first two places in Group D, despite the defensive bonus point.

Beaten by the English in their last match (34-12), the “Brave Blossoms” achieved their second success in the competition after their inaugural victory against Chile (42-12). While top spot in the group looks set for England, Japan will finish second if they beat Argentina on the final day, October 8.

To gain the right to compete in this real round of 16, the Japanese dominated Samoa for the third consecutive time in the World Cup after their successes in 2015 and 2019. This success is also important in the race for qualification directly for the next World Cup, in 2027 in Australia, since the first three in each group will be invited directly. If the Samoans do not beat England – something they have never managed to do in their history – in their last match, they will also give up on this objective.

Head already turned towards Nantes

More dynamic and enterprising than in their last outings, the Japanese logically opened the scoring on Thursday evening, thanks to their second row Pieter Labuschagne (7-0, 13th). Very to his advantage on the feet since the start of the competition (15/16), the Japanese flyhalf Rikiya Matsuda then found Mickaël Leitch with a nice jump for the break try (17-3, 32nd).

Reduced to fourteen in this action after the yellow card of their scrum half Taumateine, the Samoans, playing far too stereotyped, nevertheless returned to the match just before the break by taking advantage of the temporary expulsion of Japanese hooker Horie for a tackle high. Sanctioned for the seventh time, Japan was already above its average of the first two matches (6) and Seilala Lam on a penetrating group then punished their indiscipline (17-8).

It was Captain Himeno, in force, who finally gave his team some breathing room while the Samoans were definitely reduced to fourteen after the yellow card very quickly transformed into a red from Ben Lam for a head tackle (22-8 , 49th). In numerical superiority, the Japanese relaxed at the end of the match to leave the defensive bonus point to the Samoans. Their heads are probably already turned towards Nantes and the decisive match that awaits them on October 8.