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Summary

  1. Result: Samoa 5-26 Japan
  2. Japan go second in Pool B

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Jurejko

All times stated are UK

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Full-time

Samoa 5-26 Japan

So that stunning victory moves Japan up to second place in Pool B. Will the Brave Blossoms be there in about two hours? Will they be there after the final round of matches? Who knows. Obviously a lot depends on the outcome of Scotland v South Africa in a MAHOOSIVE match which is about to kick off in a slate grey Newcastle.

Time for you and I to say goodbye. Time for you to say hello to my colleague Brendon Mitchell. Head over here for every kick, pass and tackle from St James' Park. Enjoy!

Full-time

Samoa 5-26 Japan

Result
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Full-time

Samoa 5-26 Japan

Phil Shepka

BBC Sport at Stadium MK

The contrary in emotions at the final whistle could not be more stark, with Japan knowing they are on the brink of making history, while Samoa players drop to their knees, realising they need a miracle.

Full-time

Samoa 5-26 Japan

All over! Japan manage to turn over the ball and quickly hoof the ball into touch. The Japanese players jump into the air and bear hug each other - what a win! Coach Eddie Jones looks pretty satisfied as he strides down from his box, taking the plaudits from the compliment-paying punters.

Samoa 5-26 Japan

More expansive stuff from Japan as they throw the ball around, Masataka Mikami is stopped by a bone-crunching tackle by Jack Lam, but manages to offload to a fellow red and white shirt. However, they let Samoa off the hook with a forward pass.

Samoa 5-26 Japan

Japan finally look as though they want to score a try - a bit late in my humble opinion. They should have been going for the Samoan try-line much earlier in a bid to snatch that potentially-crucial bonus point. Hendrik Tui looks to break the Samoan line, but fumbles inside their 22.

Record breakers

Samoa 5-26 Japan

A little bit of history at #SAMvJPN - the 29,019 spectators have set a new attendance record for Stadium MK #RWC2015

A little bit of history at #SAMvJPN - the 29,019 spectators have set a new attendance record for Stadium MK #RWC2015

Samoa 5-26 Japan

Add another one to that Samoan penalty count. "You can't take the half-back out..." referee Craig Joubert tells the offending player. Japan kick into touch...

Samoa 5-26 Japan

To add to that info from our chums over at Opta, I can also add that Samoa have now conceded 15 (fifteen) penalties. And there, my friends, is this game in a nutshell.

As Samoa win a scrum and venture down the Japan left through Johnny Leota - whose name sounds like a character in The Godfather trilogy - we hear our first strains of 'Swing low...' from the Milton Keynes crowd...

Samoa 5-26 Japan

3 - #JPN have conceded just three penalties in this game, all inside their opponents half (#SAM - 13). Disciplined.

3 - #JPN have conceded just three penalties in this game, all inside their opponents half (#SAM - 13). Disciplined.

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Kritt Normsaskul: Tell you what, Japan have been an absolute winner this Rugby World Cup. Hope they spring up a few more surprises!

Jon Salinger: What a cracking first half by Japan - sometimes it helps to be small and nimble in this game.

Huw Rees: Japan are fantastic. If they hadn't had a four day turnaround before Scotland they'd be top of the group.

Samoa 5-26 Japan

Japan full-back Ayumu Goromaru is now the leading points scorer in this World Cup. He has been successful with two conversions and four penalties today, and only missed two penalties.

Ayumu Goromaru
Opta

Missed penalty

Samoa 5-26 Japan

Hmmm, Japan have this match all but wrapped up with a 21-point lead and just 12 minutes remaining. But Michael Leitch opts to go for the sticks with another penalty attempt, rather than go for the corner and the try which would move Japan closer to a much-needed bonus point. Interesting. 

From the left of the sticks, Ayumu Goromaru - on a rare occasion today - does not find his target.

Try - Samoa 5-26 Japan

Paul Perez, missed con Tusi Pisi

Samoa's Paul Perez scores a try
Getty Images

Oh, they can't - can they? Samoa avoid the prospect of their first nilling in the best part of 20 years. And what a way to do it. Silky handling skills from the Pacific Islanders, who offload their way across the field from left to right, before working their way back to Paul Perez who goes over. Tusi Pisi cannot add the extras though, his effort cannoning back of the post.

Samoa 0-26 Japan

Japan turn over the ball again after a Samoa scrum inside their 22. Michael Leitch spots a gap, but a blue wall of Samoan shirts appear from nowhere to block his path.

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Tell you what, Japan has been an absolute winner this #RWC2015 #JPN Hope they spring up a few more surprises! #bbcrugby @rugbyworldcup

26-0 up - Japan should start going for tries and the bonus point. #bbcrugby #RWC2015

Japan showing that match against Springboks wasn't a flash in the pan. If they beat Samoa and USA they'd surely qualify! #bbcrugby #RWC2015

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Ex-Samoa international scrum-half Junior Poluleuligaga is impressed with Japan....

Bet the Japanese throw 1000 passes to each other before training starts. Their handling skills are amazing. #SAMvJAP #RWC2015

Penalty

Samoa 0-26 Japan - Ayumu Goromaru

Japanese fans celebrate
Getty Images

Japan stretch their advantage with another three-pointer from Ayumu Goromaru. The record points scorer goes throw his pre-kick routine - no Biggarena-style dancing from him - just a few body jerks. It works, the kick sailing over the crossbar. Surely game over for Samoa - now Japan could do with a couple more tries...

Samoa 0-23 Japan

Akihito Yamada of Japan is stretchered off
Reuters

Worrying moment as Akihito Yamada goes down heavily after trying to stop the fleet-footed Perez as the Samoan jinks forward. The medical staff are quickly on to the scene, tending to Yamada. After a few minutes, the Japan wing is lifted on to a stretcher to the sound of a warm round of applause. Hopefully it isn't as serious as it looks.

Samoa 0-23 Japan

Phil Shepka

BBC Sport

"In unison, Stadium MK shudders at the replay of the challenge that has left Akihito Yamada - scorer of their second try - prone on the floor and needing a stretcher. The medical team act with great care as they lift him off the field and then some of the crowd stand to applaud."

Samoa 0-23 Japan

End-to-end stuff at the moment. Bristol flanker Jack Lam enters the fray for Samoa, and it is no coincidence that the Pacific Islanders have improved since his arrival. Lam recycles the ball quickly, as Ken Pisi streaks down the right flank. 

But Japan scramble back, Samoa losing the opportunity. And when they go back inside, Michael Leitch dives in, wins the turnover and boots downfield to put Paul Perez under pressure in front of his own sticks.

Samoa 0-23 Japan

Every statistic is pretty grim for the Samoans. This one shows the amount of scrums won. Six from Japan (black and green hexagons) and only two from Samoa (white and green hexagons).

Graphics
Opta

Samoa 0-23 Japan

Brief moment of encouragement for Samoa. And there haven't been many of those moments. Replacement wing Reynold Lee-Lo, who came on for Alesana Tuilagi moments earlier, flies down the blindside, offloading to the supporting Johnny Leota. But he is denied by a wonderful crunching tackle by Japan back-rower Michael Leitch.

Penalty

Samoa 0-23 Japan - Ayumu Goromaru

Sorry for sounding like a broken record but....Samoa are caught offside again and concede another penalty. This time they go for the sticks, Ayumu Goromaru adding to his tally with a solid penalty from 20 metres.

Samoa 0-20 Japan

Half time statistic
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Any signs of Samoa creating World Cup history? Not really. Samoa are punished at the scrum, another Japan penalty - their 10th of the match...

Kick-off

Samoa 0-20 Japan

Japan fly-half Kosei Ono clutches the ball, waiting for referee Craig Joubert's whistle. The shrill fills the gloomy Milton Keynes air, allowing Ono to boot downfield. Back under way...

Samoa 0-20 Japan

Plenty of beaming smiles among the Japan fans in Milton Keynes - including the bloke who is covered in body paint and wearing a scrum cap. And no wonder.

The team which is leading by 20 points bound out of the tunnel first. Followed shortly after by the more labored Samoans.

Half-time

Samoa 0-20 Japan

So hands up, who would have guessed that Japan would have 70% of the ball and a 20-0 lead at half-time? Samoa have offered hardly anything as an attacking force.

Possession
Opta

Samoa 0-20 Japan

What a tournament it has been for Japan full-back Ayumu Goromaru.

He contributed 24 points, including a try, in his side's memorable 34-32 win over South Africa and his 10 points in the first half against Samoa has taken him to the top of the points scored table.

Points scored
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Half-time

Samoa 0-20 Japan

Phil Shepka

BBC Sport at Stadium MK

Milton Keynes looks more like a scene from downtown Tokyo at half-time. Japan flags are being flown every which way you look. Samoa coach Stephen Betham needs to calm his players down.

Samoa 0-20 Japan

Any hope for Samoa? Certainly is, if this stat below is anything to go by anyway...

The problem is that they can't get anywhere near the Japanese who are playing some scintillating rugby. Eddie Jones' side are dominating the set-piece - winning all six of their scrums - and the breakdown too.

Japan
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That's 26 matches over eight separate tournaments.

Half-time

Samoa 0-20 Japan

Half time
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Half-time

Samoa 0-20 Japan

Fantastic finish by Yamada, fantastic finish to a fantastic half. Japan have been simply, ahem, fantastic. Who would have predicted this scoreline before kick-off? Not me. As it stands they are second in Pool B ahead of Scotland v South Africa. But one would suspect they need a bonus point here - and a bonus point win against the United States - to reach the last eight.

Japan's Akihito Yamada,
AP

Converted try - Samoa 0-20 Japan

Akihito Yamada, con Ayumu Goromaru

Pre-match, Japan coach Eddie Jones talked about his team landing the knockout blows - well, here is another one. The pack punch deep incisions into the Samoan defence, throwing out wide to wing Akihito Yamada. Opposite number Alesana Tuilagi stands in his way...no problem. Yamada spins his man and spectacularly dives over in the corner.

Japan's record points scorer Ayumu Goromaru finds his destination like a sat nav with the kick. Precise.

Samoa 0-13 Japan

Enterprising stuff from Japan as they succeed at the breakdown again. A quick flick out finds Kotaro Matsushima, who spots a hole in the Samoan defence and kicks the ball towards it. The wing stretches his legs in pursuit, but Samoa Tim Nanai-Williams races across to avert the danger. For now at least...

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Lots of you love watching Japan. Which country have you enjoyed watching the most in the World Cup so far?

David McNaught: Just loving watching this Japan side. Confidence brimming, creative and tenacious. Brilliant!

Green Monkey: Japan have been fantastic in the World Cup. Such a shame bonus points mean they have no chance of qualifying.

Samoa 0-13 Japan

Samoa
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Penalty

Samoa 0-13 Japan - Ayumu Goromaru

Japan again opt to go for the sticks, nudging their scoreboard along  nicely. Ayumu Goromaru, from a central position about 30 metres out, boots the penalty straight through the sticks.

Samoa 0-10 Japan

Another Japan attack, more Samoan indiscipline. The Samoa coaching team are decked out in Pacific-style flowery shirts and lei around their necks - but their collective mood is not so bright.

Samoa are caught offside, prompting ref Craig Joubert to have another word with their captain.

"This is an official warning about offside. If there is another offside, someone goes to the bin. Please listen to this," says the official. Crystal clear.

Samoa 0-10 Japan

Japan are 10-0 up, dominating possession, have held a two-man advantage and are showing their strength in the amount of rucks won.

The white and green diamonds represent the rucks won by Samoa, the black and green diamonds those won by Japan.

And the Brave Blossoms - one of the great nicknames in world sport - are back in possession...

Rucks
Opta