Japan head coach Jamie Joseph Photo: REUTERS
rugby world cup 2019

Joseph praises never-say-die Japan after last-gasp bonus-point win

12 Comments
By Nick Said

A relieved Jamie Joseph praised the never-say-die attitude of his Japan side as they claimed what could be a crucial bonus-point with the final play of Saturday’s 38-19 Rugby World Cup victory over Samoa at the City of Toyota Stadium.

Wing Kotaro Matsushima crossed in the corner to seal the five-point haul as the hosts moved to the top of Pool A and set up what will likely be a winner-takes-all tussle with Scotland in Yokohama, where Japan can seal a first-ever World Cup quarterfinal place, on Oct 13.

"I feel a little bit relieved," Joseph told reporters. "I thought Samoa played really well, to bring a physical performance like that after they played a few days ago against Scotland, they should be very proud.

"We were a bit frantic in the first half, we didn’t execute exactly how we wanted to, but after halftime I thought we were more in control."

It looked as though the extra point would elude Joseph’s side but they then snatched two last-gasp tries, the first coming in the 75th minute and Matsushima's score following five minutes into extra time.

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

"That is one of the big reasons why we have been successful. It is not just one or two players that we rely on."

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.

"Even today, the belief in our team has grown and I guess we'll need it going into next week. It’s the first time ever Japan's got themselves in the position where they can top the pool, so it's new territory for us.

"Scotland are a very good team with a lot of experience and x-factor. We saw how clinical they were against Samoa (in a 34-0 win).

"I think it was always going to come down to the Scotland game. It’s going to be a ripper. I can’t wait and the players can’t wait."

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

12 Comments
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A relieved Jamie Joseph praised the never-say-die attitude of his Japan side as they claimed what could be a crucial bonus-point with the final play of Saturday’s 38-19 Rugby World Cup victory over Samoa at the City of Toyota Stadium.

I don't understand rugby but should credit not go to Samoa for that last try because they had a chance to kick the ball and eventually end the game instead they opted for scrum close to their goal line. I don't know what they were trying to achieve with the scrum when time was already over.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It was basically thwart japans chance at a bonus point, or give them a chance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Some credit should also go to the referee.... Penalising Samoa for “feeding” that last scrum was a little unusual as ever single scrum Ive seen in this World Cup has been fed almost to the number 8!

Scotland need a bonus point win agains Russia and then beat Japan by 7 points and the “International 15” will again miss out on the knockout stage.

Come on Scotland!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Scotland need a bonus point win agains Russia and then beat Japan by 7 points and the “International 15” will again miss out on the knockout stage.

If Japan holds Scotland to a close margin in a low scoring game, it’ll go to Japan. Whatever happens, it’s gonna be a thriller. Also, Scotland isn’t much better for the number of foreign players.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hope Japan cant GET UP for the game against Scotland, last cup they fell  flat after the SA win.....hope its a great exiting game!!! Cant wait!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I've caught a few matches and watched a number of highlights and am surprised by the amount of kicking in the games I've seen. Not sure if that's normal.

Growing up in Australia I followed Aussie Rules football, essentially a kick & catch game, and didn't have anything to do with the tackle, throw, run, try game.

If what I see is the modern evolution of rugby, then a way to a future world cup or high ranking, is to bring in tough, fast, precision aussie rules kickers into the teams. Their plays will be legal and cut the game right open. LOL.

For me and my limited background, the "high" of rugby is witnessing the "beautiful" fast, skilled, hand passing culminating in the can't-catch-me run for that euphoric try. That's rugby. So I thought. But the huge number of goal kicks and field kicks seems to be the new way.

Maybe just me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't know what they were trying to achieve with the scrum when time was already over.

Samoa had a chance to gain a bonus point at that stage. Unlikely, perhaps, but they had little to lose.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Samoa had a chance to gain a bonus point at that stage. Unlikely, perhaps, but they had little to lose.

They had little to lose because they had already lost. They had zero percent chance getting a try at that juncture when they could only manage wasn't one try the whoke game. Looks like they gifted the Japanese the bonus point.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Samoa had a chance to gain a bonus point at that stage. Unlikely, perhaps, but they had little to lose.

Please explain. - Rugby Newbie

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Please explain. - Rugby Newbie

can’t remember if the final Japan try was converted or not but at that point, Japan 31 (33?) and Samoa 19, should Samoa have turned it over and run away with a converted try they would have finished on 26... a loss by less than 7 is a bonus point. Unlikely considering the location of the play at the time but not impossible.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Considering the time and the fact they were at their goal line , there is no way they were going to score a try and narrow their defeat to less than 7 points. They had eighty minutes and could only muster one try what made them think they could score a try. They giftef Japan that bonus point.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They giftef Japan that bonus point.

That might be the view of Irish and Scottish fans, of which I'm one. I smiled when I saw them deciding to go for the scrum. You nutters, was my first thought. You b_____ds, was my next thought. But if I were Samoan, why would I give a toss? My prediction of a Japan-Scotland final looks a little weak right now. But it's not over till the fat hooker sings. Sorry Ireland, but I'll be cheering for Samoa in the next group game.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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