Head coach Jamie Joseph proud of Japans performance

Fans play a game outside Hanazono Stadium before the Rugby World Cup Pool D game between Georgia and Fiji in Osaka Japan Thursday Oct. 3 2019. (AP

Fans play a game outside Hanazono Stadium before the Rugby World Cup Pool D game between Georgia and Fiji in Osaka Japan Thursday Oct. 3 2019. (AP

Matsushima, described by Japan coach Jamie Joseph as a "Ferrari" after the Russian Federation victory, was left largely as a bystander for much of the first period, with half-backs Yutaka Nagare and Yu Tamura both guilty of kicking too much possession away.

The bonus-point victory leaves the host nation on the verge of reaching the quarter-finals for the first time.

Japan coach Jamie Joseph and his players have no time to bask in their latest win at the Rugby World Cup.

Only the Bravehearts of Scotland stand in the way, but the Brave Blossoms are in control of their own destiny.

"Japan have set the tone in our pool. We will enjoy this win, then get back on the horse for what will be a really tough game against Scotland". "That's how silly it is". But the game wasn't won until five minutes from the end when replacement winger Kenki Fukuoka scrambled in at the right corner to subdue Samoa's fightback.

Japan have now won three games at the World Cup for the second time in their history, repeating the feat of 2015, and Joseph added that they now have confidence that the can seal a place in the last eight, in contrast to four years ago.

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Ireland are on 11 points with three games played and Scotland are on five points with two games played. The South Africa-born wing, who scored a hat-trick against Russian Federation, made 110 metres and beat eight defenders in an energetic display.

"Our team has incredible belief to the very end and the bench came on and made a massive impact on the game", Joseph said.

Winger Ed Fidow single-handedly earned two of them against Scotland in the last game to be sent off, while centre Rey Lee-Lo and hooker Motu Matu'u were both given cards and subsequent suspensions for tackles made against Russian Federation.

"There was a never-say-die attitude, and we knew it was going to be a real physical battle and Samoa did not let us down. I can't wait and the players can't wait".

Asked about the pressure on Japan, who beat Russian Federation (30-10) before stunning Ireland (19-12) in their first two games, Joseph called for perspective.

Samoa lost experienced fullback Tim Nanai-Williams just before the break with a head injury, hampering them in both attack and defence.

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"I can't talk about the All Blacks but what I'm witnessing every Saturday is a full stadium", Joseph told reporters.

Despite his frustration at the officials, Jackson was quick to praise the performance of the Japanese team and the vocal crowd of nearly 40,000. "That's what we knew would happen if we gave them test matches", he said. "It makes us incredibly proud that we're representing 120 million people, and the majority don't really support rugby. And they are behind us".

"We were a bit frantic in the first half and we couldn't execute exactly what we wanted to do. That's one of the reasons we were successful". Scotland have two games remaining and are on five points with Samoa and Russian Federation already out of contention.

The loss ended the Pacific islanders' chances of their first place in the knockout phase since 1995, although the grouping is not likely to be decided until Japan play Scotland in Yokohama in the last game of the pool phase on October 13. He said he was confident when a scrum was set near the Samoa goalline.

Kotaro Matsushima is congratulated by teammates after scoring a crucial try against Samoa.

"I think our focus is to go out there and win the match - then things will take care of themselves", Joseph said on the scenarios for the final pool match. "I agree TJ's (tackle) was late".

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"To be part of that it is something we've probably never experienced before", he said.

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