TOYOTA CITY – 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 quarter-final place, on October 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.