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Tries by Timothy Lafaele, Kazuki Himeno, and Kotaro Matsushima helped make it three wins out of three for the Brave Blossoms Japan
Samoa had won 11 of the 15 Tests played between the sides but it has been seven years since they last beat Japan
After beating Russia 30-10 and then stunning Ireland 19-12 to top Pool A, Japan face Scotland next week in the biggest game in their history
Toyota City: Hosts Japan conjured the samurai spirit to smash Samoa 38-19 on Saturday and take a giant step towards a historic quarter-final spot at the Rugby World Cup.
Japan’s players (red and white stripes are tackled during their match against Samoa in the Rugby World Cup 2019. AFP
Tries by Samoan-born Timothy Lafaele, Kazuki Himeno, Kenki Fukuoka and Kotaro Matsushima helped make it three wins out of three for the Brave Blossoms, who returned to the top of Pool A.
Yu Tamura scored 18 points on eight of 10 kicking to pace Japan, who added a bonus point through Matsushima’s try long after full-time to take control of their own destiny.
Samoa threw down the challenge before the game with their fearsome “siva tau” war dance on a cool night in Toyota.
But in the heartland of the ancient samurai warriors, it was Japan who showed the greater hunger and fight as the Pacific islanders made an early exit.
Tamura and Henry Taefu traded a handful of penalties in the early skirmishes before Lafaele scored the game’s first try just before the half-hour mark after swarming Japanese pressure.
With Samoa’s TJ Ioane in the sin bin for a late hit on local boy Tamura, Lafaele spotted a gap and crashed over to the joy of 45,000 fans at the Toyota stadium.
Samoa full-back Tim Nanai-Williams, cous
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