Japan became the best team ever to be eliminated from the Rugby World Cup at the group stage by beating the United States 28-18 in their final Pool D game at Gloucester this evening.
This seventh-minute try from Kotaro Matsushima set the Brave Blossoms up for a third win from four – a return which has previously always been enough to guarantee progress to the quarter-finals.
But Eddie Jones’s side were made to regret their heavy loss to Scotland as they finished third behind Vern Cotter’s men and South Africa, despite their famous last-minute victory over the Springboks.
They will get a chance at redemption when they host the tournament in four years time, but whether they remain the same threat without Jones, who is resigning, at the helm remains to be seen.
American go home winless but again gave a decent account of themselves. Takudzwa Ngwenya’s score put them in front midway through the first half before Yoshikazu Fujita’s converted try on 28 minutes.
Amanaki Mafi touched down for Japan’s third try just after the hour mark. Chris Wyles crossed to give the United States hope, but the Asian minnows hung on for a popular victory inside Kingsholm.
Robert Lewandowski goal video: Poland 2-1 Ireland – record strike consigns Republic to playoffs
Rugby World Cup 2015: Ireland overcome injury setbacks to beat France & avoid NZ quarter-final
England predicted XI v Lithuania: Man United sick-note & Arsenal pair in for final Euro qualifier