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Samoa 5-26 Japan: Brave Blossoms stun Samoa

  • Eddie Jones side led 20-0 at half-time
  • Akihito Yamada scores dramatic score fo Cherry Blossoms just before the break
  • Fly-half Ayumu Goromaru kicks 16 points for Japan from the tee
  • Faifili Levave and Sakaria Taulafo both shown yellow for Samoa in first half
  • Victory moves Japan up to second place in Pool B

Eddie Jones Japan displayed the character and quality they showed against the Springboks to thrash Samoa in Milton Keynes, keeping the possibility of reaching a first ever Rugby World Cup Quarter-Final alive.

The Japanese had opened up a 20-0 lead at half-time. They were first awarded a penalty try before Akihito Yamada touched down just before the break. Japan’s record points scorer Ayumu Goromaru made up the total with two conversions and two penalties. 

Samoa’s poor first-half display was chiefly down to poor discipline with Faifili Levave and Sakaria Taulafo both being sent to the sin-bin.

The Cherry Blossoms only added to their tally through Goromaru in the second half, who kicked two further penalties to take his total for the day to 16 points.

Samoa did though at least get on the board when Paul Perez touched down but Tusi Pisi couldn’t convert.



Match Action

Japan took a three-point lead after eight minutes when Goromaru slotted over a penalty

Number 8 Levave and prop Taulafo then both saw yellow for Samoa in a four-minute period just after the quarter of an hour mark, leaving them with just 13 men on the field.

Their poor discipline was punished again after 24 minutes when their poor control in the scrum forced Referee Craig Joubert to award a penalty try. Goromaru kicked the simple conversion from in front of the posts.

Fly-half Goromaru then added another three points from the tee before Akihito Yamada extended the Cherry Blossoms lead further on the edge of half-time when he dived over in the corner. The number 10 converted from the touchline sublimely 20-0.



Goromaru continued to keep his total ticking over in the second half as he added two further penalties after the break, giving Japan a 26-point lead.

Perez then went over for Samoa just after the hour following an excellent free-flowing move, but it was too little too late. Tusi Pisi’s conversion attempt also missed, 26-5.

The Brave Blossoms then went in hunt of more tries but were shut down by the Samoan defence. However, the stunning victory moves Japan up to second place in Pool B.


Man of the Match- Ayumu Goromaru

The Japanese fly-half and all-time top point scorer was in fine form, kicking 16 points from the tee. His all-round performance was fantastic as his kicking and passing game kept Samoa under pressure for long periods of the game.