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Live Reporting

Jonathan Jurejko

All times stated are UK

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  1. 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!

  2. Full-time

    Samoa 5-26 Japan

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Post update

    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.

  6. Post update

    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.

  7. Record breakers

    Samoa 5-26 Japan

  8. Post update

    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...

  9. Post update

    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...

  10. Post update

    Samoa 5-26 Japan

  11. Get involved


    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.

  12. Post update

    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
  13. 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.

  14. Try - Samoa 5-26 Japan

    Paul Perez, missed con Tusi Pisi

    Samoa's Paul Perez scores a try

    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.

  15. Post update

    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.

  16. Get involved


  17. Get involved


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

  18. Penalty

    Samoa 0-26 Japan - Ayumu Goromaru

    Japanese fans celebrate

    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...

  19. Post update

    Samoa 0-23 Japan

    Akihito Yamada of Japan is stretchered off

    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.

  20. Post update

    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."

  21. Post update

    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.

  22. Post update

    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).

  23. Post update

    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.

  24. 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.

  25. Post update

    Samoa 0-20 Japan

    Half time statistic

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

  26. 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...

  27. Post update

    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.

  28. 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.

  29. Post update

    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
  30. 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.

  31. Post update

    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.


    That's 26 matches over eight separate tournaments.

  32. Half-time

    Samoa 0-20 Japan

    Half time
  33. 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,
  34. 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 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.

  35. Post update

    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...

  36. Get involved


    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.

  37. Post update

    Samoa 0-13 Japan

  38. 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.

  39. Post update

    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.

  40. Post update

    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...

  41. Post update

    Samoa 0-10 Japan

    By the way, Samoa are back up to 14 men. Faifili Levave - the first of their sinners - comes back on to the pitch. He knows he has cost his side seven points - sure his coach Stephen Betham will remind him at the break too.

  42. Post update

    Samoa 0-10 Japan

    Samoa finally get their attacking game together, pinning back the Japanese in their own half. But as they work the ball out to the right, lightning-fast wing Ken Pisi - who plays for Northampton of course - is crunched. And that allows Japan to win the turnover and ease the pressure. Cue huge roars from the crowd.

  43. Get involved


    Dave Sommerville: Good to see such a big crowd for Japan vs Samoa. Even if England go out tonight, they've run a brilliant World Cup.

    Andrew Priestley: Samoa's discipline has been awful at the start of this game. Japan need to capitalise with these Samoans in the sin bin.

    Ollie Phillips: Epic atmosphere at MK Dons stadium!

    Samoa v Japan
  44. Post update

    Samoa 0-10 Japan

    Phil Shepka

    BBC Sport at Stadium MK

    "Samoa's ill-discipline is really getting the better of them here. After Japan are awarded that penalty try Kahn Fotuali'i squares up to his opposite number nine Fumiaki Tanaka before the Japanese player is pulled away by his team-mates. The Pacific Islanders need to cool down."

  45. Penalty Try

    Samoa 0-10 Japan

    Finally Japan have their try. Samoa's indiscipline comes to the fore again as they cannot cope with a solid Japanese scrum. Referee Craig Joubert awards the penalty try, leaving Ayumu Goromaru with the simplest of kicks from in front of the posts. Even my nan could stick this over. Which means Goromaru does exactly that.

  46. Post update

    Samoa 0-3 Japan

    Japan batter the Samoa line, but somehow the Pacific Islanders manage to hold out. First they try to punch a hole down the middle before spinning the ball out left. However, Kotaro Matsushima's greasy hands spill it as the whitewash enters his eye-line.

  47. Post update

    Samoa 0-3 Japan

    Early indiscipline from the Samoans, who are two men down with Failfili Levave and Sakaria Taulafo sin-binned. That's six penalties conceded from Samoa (white and red circles) compared to only two from Japan (black and red circles).

  48. Sin-bin

    Samoa 0-3 Japan

    Yellow cards are being dished out like confetti to the Samoans. Bulky prop Sakaria Taulafo  is the next to be told off by ref Craig Joubert, rightly so for smashing into Japan full-back Ayumu Goromaru as collected a high ball. Japan's 15 men have got to find a gap in the 13-man Samoan defence. Surely?

  49. Post update

    Samoa 0-3 Japan

    Japan kick to the corner, which brings huge cheers from the Japan-supporting Milton Keynes crowd. But they are penalised for interference and can't punish the Samoans further.

  50. Sin-bin

    Samoa 0-3 Japan

    Hang on! All the good Japanese work is not undone. Samoa number eight Faifili Levave crashed into Shota Horie there - illegally as it turned out. "Go and cool off for 10 minutes," ref Craig Joubert tells Levave. Or something along those lines as he wafts the yellow card in his face.

    Referee Craig Joubert shows the yellow card to Faifili Levave of Samoa
  51. Post update

    Samoa 0-3 Japan

    Still all Japan. The Brave Blossoms are, er, really blossoming in these early stages. Silky stuff from the Asian side, hooker Shota Horie offloading neatly as they go wide. But they are penalised for holding on and all the good work is undone...

    Akihito Yamada of Japan makes a break
  52. Post update

    Samoa 0-3 Japan

    Phil Shepka

    BBC Sport

    Ayumu Goromaru was practising kicks from that exact position during the warm-up, with varying degrees of success. One in fact hit both posts and bounced straight back out.

  53. Missed penalty

    Samoa 0-3 Japan

    "Aaaaah," groans the majority of Stadium MK. Ayumu Goromaru wraps his size nine around the kick too much, the ball swinging out left and past the wrong side of the posts.

  54. Penalty

    Samoa 0-3 Japan

    And now Japan have another chance to extend their lead. Samoa are punished for offside. Ayumu Goromaru nods at the referee and grabs hold of the ball. He's going for goal...

  55. Post update

    Samoa 0-3 Japan

    So an early lead for Japan to go with their dominance in the possession.

  56. Post update

    Samoa 0-3 Japan

    Phil Shepka

    BBC Sport

    "Joy in Stadium MK quickly turned to bewilderment as to why the try was disallowed. This crowd is very much up for a great game of rugby."

  57. Penalty

    Samoa 0-3 Japan - Ayumu Goromaru

    Japan coach Eddie Jones is shaking his head. He isn't happy that with decision. However, his team do settle for three points as Samoa are punished for an earlier offence. Ayumu Goromaru - the nation's record points scorer - slots over the kick for a deserved early lead.

    Japan's Ayumu Goromaru
  58. Disallowed try

    Samoa 0-0 Japan

    Japan lose their own line-out before Samoa concede another turnover. The Japanese are back on the attack, quick hands out wide ends in Ayumu Goromaru crashing over. But wait! Referee Craig Joubert reckons Male Sa'u's pass to Goromaru was forward. Ooooh, only just.

  59. Post update

    Samoa 0-0 Japan

    Phil Shepka

    BBC Sport at Stadium MK

    "The 'cheat-sheet' we media types get before these matches always makes for useful reading, but today Japan's provides an entertaining insight into their 31-man squad.

    "Apparently, Eddie Jones' team includes a qualified whiskey expert, a hooker affectionately known as a 'complete fat-man' and a 'Bachelor of the Year winner'. If you're wondering who has that coveted final title, it's Australia-born Craig Wing."

    Craig Wing
  60. Post update

    Samoa 0-0 Japan

    Samoa wing Alesana Tuilagi picks up the ball for the first time and strides forward like a hungry rhino. Crash - one Japanese would-be tackler is scattered. Bang - centre Harumichi Tatekawa takes another big hit. Tatekawa looks dazed and confused. 

  61. Get involved


    Former Scotland captain Kelly Brown thinks Japan pose a threat to Samoa. What do you think?

  62. Post update

    Samoa 0-0 Japan

    An early handling error from Samoa gifts the turnover to the Japanese. Eddie Jones's side have not played for 10 days - they should be refreshed and ready to tear into the Samoans.

  63. Kick-off

    Samoa 0-0 Japan

    The bubbly crowd are well up for this. Almost 30,000 people countdown to kick-off - with Samoa having the honour. Here we go....

    A Japan fan flies the flag
  64. Post update

    Samoa v Japan (14:30 BST)

    The camera pans to a familiar face in the Stadium MK crowd - it's only England centre Manu Tuilagi! The Leicester man is there to watch his brother Alesana, the Newcastle wing, who is lining up for Samoa.

  65. Post update

    Samoa v Japan (14:30 BST)

    Stadium MK is rammed as almost 30,000 punters welcome the teams out of the tunnel. Plenty of Japanese support in this part of Buckinghamshire, flags, bandanas, body paint.... Time for the anthems...

  66. Get involved

    Samoa v Japan (14:30 BST)

    Earlier (see 14:18 entry) we told you about a couple of Japanese fans getting painted up for the occasion. Hope it washes off easily. So we want to hear your stories of what lengths you have gone to to show off your colours. Tweet using #bbcrugby or text 81111. Feel free to sound off about whatever you want (keep it rugby).

  67. What are the basics of rugby union?

    Samoa v Japan (14:30 BST)

    If you have caught the Rugby World Cup bug but are still a little unsure about the rules, then do not panic.

    Confused about the competitive scrum? Does a ruck send your brain into a maul? You're not alone. The technical part of the game can sometimes be hard to understand even for experienced players, let alone new rugby fans, which is why we've come up with an all singing iWonder guide. 

    Click here to learn what role players play in the scrum and how the ruck works, among other things. It's really good.  

    iWonder guide
  68. Post update

    Samoa v Japan (14:30 BST)

    Phil Shepka

    BBC Sport at Stadium mk

    "Judging by some of the scenes outside today, it's no wonder Japan is beginning to gain a reputation as 'The Land of the Rising Scrum'. These supporters have been the talk of Stadium MK today, posing for pictures with all and sundry.

    "I wonder if they have a 'Wet Paint' sign to warn any unsuspecting passers by..."

    Japan fans
  69. Post update

    Hungry for some scrum-ptious stuff today? Excellent. You're in the right place. Samoa v Japan is the hors d'oeuvre on a mouthwatering menu of tasty World Cup action.

    After this game we have the small matter of Scotland v South Africa and then England v Australia. No need for a pud. Monster.

  70. Line-ups

    Samoa v Japan (14:30 BST)

    Lock Kane Thompson is in the Samoa side after completing a two-match ban.

    Thompson's return is one of five changes from their 46-6 loss to South Africa, with fly-half Tusi Pisi and centre Johnny Leota also starting.


    Japan have made five changes after their 45-10 defeat by Scotland.

    Kensuke Hatakeyama replaces Hiroshi Yamashita at tight-head prop, while lock Hitoshi Ono wins his 96th cap.

    Japan team
  71. Post update

    Samoa v Japan (14:30 BST)

    Phil Shepka

    BBC Sport at Stadium mk

    "While Japan came to Stadium MK on their team coach, the Samoa team were actually staying in the ground's hotel last night, making their journey to the players' entrance a grand total of around 20 metres.

    "Will that extra night of inspecting the pitch pay dividends?"

  72. How they stand

    Samoa v Japan (14:30 BST)

    That Japan victory against South Africa in their opening game sent shockwaves across the world of sport. And it swept Pool B wide open. Both Samoa and Japan need a win as they push for a top-two finish to move into the quarter-finals.

    Pool B table
  73. Japan up for a scrap

    Samoa v Japan (14:30 BST)

    Why all the boxing analogies? Well, Japan coach Eddie Jones started it. Here's what the Aussie-born coach had to say about the game...

    "We are playing one of the biggest teams and in every position we are giving height and weight away," says Jones.

    "We need to move the ball around. They want to wrestle and we don't want to wrestle. They want to put us up against the ropes, we want to be coming jib-and-jab style, moving. It's as simple as that. We want to win points with jabs, Samoa want to win with knock-outs.

    "We need to make sure we stay in it for the whole 80 minutes. There's not going to be much in it." 

  74. Post update

    Samoa v Japan (14:30 BST)

    Samoa v Japan at the Rugby World Cup. Hardly a heavyweight clash, I must admit. More like a welterweight bout. Although, as Japan coach Eddie Jones confessed, his team are couple of weight divisions below the Pacific Islanders....

    But today, both Samoa and Japan in the same ring with their eyes on the same prize. The quarter-finals. Defeat in Milton Keynes would see their chances of progressing from Pool B all but go down the drain.

  75. Let's get ready to rumble

    Rugby World Cup

    *Adopts voice of legendary boxing announcer Michael Buffer* 

    Ladies and gentleman from across the world. Brought to you by governing body the International Rugby Board, welcome to day 16 of the 2015 World Cup. 

    In the blue corner, weighing in with one win and one defeat from their two matches, it is the three-time quarter-finalists... Samoa.

    In the red corner, aiming to reach the knockout stage for the first time, with an identical record of one win and one defeat, welcome to.... Japan. 

    Rugby fans are you ready? L-l-l-l-let's get ready to rumbl-l-l-l-le!