Japan hold on against Samoa to boost their quarter-final hopes

Michael Leitch of Japan scores a try against Samoa at Rugby World Cup 2023. Photo: AFP

Japan boosted their chances of reaching the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals for the second successive time as they beat an ill disciplined Samoa 28-22 in Toulouse.

The result confirmed England’s place in the quarter-finals.

Look back at how the match unfolded with RNZ Pacific’s live blog.

Tries by Pieter Labuschagne, Michael Leitch, Kazuki Himeno and 13 points from the boot of Rikiya Matsuda gave Japan a comprehensive victory as they leapfrogged their opponents into second place in Pool D with nine points.

Samoa, who had Ben Lam red carded early in the second half and answered with tries by Seilala Lam, Duncan Paia’aua and Christian Leali’ifano as well as points from the tee by Alai D’Angelo Leuila and Leali’ifano, are third on six points.

Samoa captain Fritz Lee accepts their ill discipline proved costly.

“The effort was there, but there were little things that we didn’t capitalise on,” he told Sky TV.

“Japan was more clinical than us and our penalty count didn’t help us …(but) we could have turned the game around at the end but we fell short.”

With 14 points, England cannot finish outside the top two.

Fourth-placed Argentina are expected to add to their four points when they meet Chile this weekend before a potential pool decider against Japan in the last round of group games.

Source: RNZ