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Japan v Samoa LIVE: Rugby World Cup 2023 result and reaction after Ben Lam red card in Samoa defeat

Japan 28-22 Samoa: Japan held off 14-man Samoa to set up a shootout against Argentina for a quarter-final place

Imogen Ainsworth
Thursday 28 September 2023 23:00 BST
Uruguay fightback to beat Namibia 36-26 at the World Cup

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, a result which sent England through to the last eight.

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.

With 14 points, England will finish top of the pool. Fourth-placed Argentina are expected to add to their four points when they meet Chile on Saturday before a potential second-place decider against Japan in the last round of group games.

Relive the match below, get all the Rugby World Cup odds here and the latest tips and free bets on the World Cup here.


Up next in Pool D

Japan will face Argentina in what is set to be an all-important clash on Sunday 8th October.

Samoa face England, who have already qualified for the quarter-finals, the day before on Saturday 7th.

The next match in Pool D will be on Saturday 30th September when Argentina face Chile.

Find out how you can watch every match of the RWC here.

Imogen Ainsworth28 September 2023 23:00

Pinpoint pass from Matsuda

As well as being mostly perfect from the tee in Japan’s last three matches, Rikiya Matsuda also delivered this perfect pass for Leitch’s try.

Imogen Ainsworth28 September 2023 22:45

Player of the match - Lomano Lemeki

Player of the match Lomano Lemeki shares his thoughts after a well-fought match against Samoa, his first Test match since 2021.

Imogen Ainsworth28 September 2023 22:35

Kazuki Himeno’s winning try for Japan

The captain crossed the line from the rolling maul which would ultimately be the winning try for the Brave Blossoms in Toulouse.

Imogen Ainsworth28 September 2023 22:25

FULL TIME Japan 28 - 22 Samoa

80 mins: Japan regain possession from the lineout and kick the ball out to end the match! The Brave Blossoms have now beaten Samoa at three RWCs in a row, despite only winning 6 out of 18 meetings overall.

Lomano Lemeki is a well-deserved player of the match, an incredibly impressive return to Test rugby having not played for two years.

The score also gives England the top spot in the table, and they have now qualified for the knockouts.

Japan could be joining them depending on results from Argentina against Chile, and then against Japan in what will most likely be a winner-takes-all match for quarter-final qualification.

Imogen Ainsworth28 September 2023 21:54

Japan 28 - 22 Samoa

79 mins: After nine phases Samoa have a penalty as Japan are off their feet.

Imogen Ainsworth28 September 2023 21:53

TRY! Japan 28 - 22 Samoa

78 mins: Christian Leali’ifano burrows his way to the line with a strong carry and converts! They’re in losing bonus point territory now, which would move them up to third in the table.

Japan are currently second as things stand and could be battling for a spot in the knock-out stages against Argentina who they face next.

Imogen Ainsworth28 September 2023 21:52

Japan 28 - 15 Samoa

77 mins: Samoa penalty as Japan are offside metres from the line.

Imogen Ainsworth28 September 2023 21:50

Japan 28-15 Samoa

75 mins: Samoa have the scrum penalty as Japan collapse.

Imogen Ainsworth28 September 2023 21:48

Japan 28 - 15 Samoa

75 mins: Samoa knock on, Japan scrum.

Imogen Ainsworth28 September 2023 21:47

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