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Scotland withstood both a typhoon and an earthquake on the eve of their win-or-bust showdown with Japan but found themselves blown out of the World Cup as the super-charged hosts claimed a 28-21 win in Yokohama.
Gregor Townsend’s men needed an eight-point triumph to book a quarter-final slot and it looked promising when Finn Russell put them ahead early.
But the Brave Blossoms hit back with a series of ceaseless attacks as they repeatedly crashed through the Dark Blues to secure top spot in Pool A and a rematch with their 2015 victims South Africa in Tokyo next Sunday.
Kenki Fukuoka grabbed a double, while star winger Kotaro Matsushima scored his fifth of the tournament – but it was prop Keita Inagaki who finished off a stunning move that will be hard to beat for try of the tournament.
Scotland refused to go down without a fight but second-half scores from forwards WP Nel and Zander Fagerson were not enough to prevent the Scots suffering their second pool exit in three tournaments.
The climax to the group stage at Yokohama’s International Stadium nearly did not take place as a magnitude 5.7 quake coincided with Super
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