News Update


Japan 28-22 Samoa: Brave Blossoms’ victory advances England to the quarterfinals of the Rugby World Cup.

The Brave Blossoms’ increased prospects of making the knockout round helped Japan defeat Samoa, which helped England advance to the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals.

With tries from Pieter Labuschagne, Michael Leitch, and Kazuki Himeno plus reliable kicking from Rikiya Matsuda, Japan defeated the Pacific Islanders.

After having their winger Ben Lam dismissed, Samoa made a late comeback but now needs to defeat England to have any hope of moving on.

However, as a result of this outcome, England remains in first place in Pool D.

While Steve Borthwick’s team has a better head-to-head record against Japan and Argentina, Samoa can no longer match their current total of 14 points.

With less pressure, Borthwick can rest players for England’s last group game against the Samoans on October 7 before what is set to be a quarterfinal matchup with Fiji.

English’s path to the World Cup quarterfinals
variations in the pool and who will face whom in the quarterfinals?
World Cup schedule, outcomes, and coverage
England is first in the 2023 Rugby World Cup Pool D table, followed by Japan, Samoa, Argentina, and Chile.
Japan survives the Samoan resurgence
Both teams had a chance to advance from Pool D if they won this match at Toulouse, but only if they did.

In search of a second consecutive spot in the final eight, Japan got out to the better start and scored after 13 minutes with their first significant attack.

After driving into space and defying two Samoan defenders, Lomano Lemeki was stopped five meters away. Labuschagne received the ball and rushed across.

After trading penalties, Japan appeared to seize control of the game when they scored their second try and Samoa quickly had a player sin-binned.

In the lead-up to Leitch extending Japan’s advantage, Jonathan Taumateine received a yellow card for a challenge off the ball. Japan had switched the ball out to the left again and were too swift for Samoa.

This gave Samoa, who hadn’t advanced past the group stage in 28 years, their chance.

When Japan’s hooker Shota Horie was sin-binned, making the score 14 men each, Samoa’s own number two Seilala Lam touched down after a massive maul.

However, the inhabitants of the Pacific Islands were their worst foes. Before Kazuki Himeno scored following a Japan maul, Ben Lam received a yellow card for an upright tackle and a severe head-to-head collision that was later enhanced.

Duncan Paia’aua and Christian Leali’ifano’s tries gave Samoa some momentum and a losing bonus point, but Japan held on thanks to Matsuda’s dependable boot.

On October 8, Japan will play Argentina in what appears to be a winner-takes-all matchup as they attempt to replicate their performance as hosts four years ago when they advanced to the knockout rounds.

The Argentina game is the ‘grand final’ for Japan.
Jamie Joseph, the head coach of Japan, said on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra: “It’s the World Cup, and we just won huge.

“Samoa has large men, and they frequently piled on top of us. I’m pleased with the men. Samoa is far larger than us, but we also need to improve on a few areas.

“That is our grand final, we get the chance to play a tier-one team, and the guys will be looking forward to that match,” the player said of their meeting against Argentina the following week. It will be a significant game for us.

“I am proud of the guys,” Seilala Mapusua, the head coach of Samoa, said on BBC Radio 5 Sports extra. I couldn’t have asked for more considering the time and work they put into that game.

“Being given a red card is difficult, and Ben Lam is unfortunate. Japan took use of the advantage and won.

Regarding the discipline on his team, he said: “We have to be strategically sound or we will be penalized. Next week, we’re hoping to get it perfect.

Lemeki; Matsushima; Riley; Nakamura; Naikabula; Matsuda; Saito; Inagaki; Horie; Gu; Cornelsen; Fakatava; Leitch; Labuschagne; Himeno; are the Japanese lineups.

Sakate, Millar, Ai Valu, Dearns, Shimokawa, Fukuda, Lee, and Osada are the replacements.

Paia’aua, Fidow, Manu, Leuila, Ben Lam, Leali’ifano, Taumateine, James Lay, Seilala Lam, Alo-Emile, Luatua, McFarland, Seu, Lee, Taufua are all names of people from Samoa.


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