Japan have beaten Samoa 38-19 to clock up their third straight win at the Rugby World Cup. The bonus-point victory leaves the host nation on the verge of reaching the quarter-finals for the first time.
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.
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 with the boot for 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 saw their hopes of advancing crushed.
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.