Japan’s dreams of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup 2015 are as alive as ever following a 26-5 win over Samoa at the Stadium MK this afternoon.
This try in the corner from Akihito Yamada helped the Asian minnows into a 20-0 advantage at the break and they comfortably held on in the second half to go second in Pool B.
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A great kicking display from Ayumu Goromaru, who slotted four penalties throughout the contest, kept Japan in the clear despite Samoa’s reply when Paul Perez touched down after the interval.
The Pacific Islanders had won 11 of their previous 14 meetings against Japan, but became their second significant scalp of the tournament after the Brave Blossoms’ famous win over South Africa.
Eddie Jones’s side leapfrog South Africa in the Pool B standings ahead of the Springboks’ crunch clash against Scotland this evening, which will also have big implications for Japan.
With bottom side United States their only remaining fixture, a Scotland victory at St James’ Park would give Japan a fantastic chance of reaching the last eight for the first time.
Three-time quarter-finalists Samoa have now lost two of their three group games and only have a chance of progressing if both they and South Africa beat Scotland, and Japan lose to America.
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