For Japan, though, the World Cup is over, with defeat at the Stade de la Beaujoire also bringing the curtain down on Jamie Joseph’s time in charge.
Argentina booked their place in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals with victory over Japan in Nantes.
Mateo Carreras was the star in a captivating, winner-takes-all Pool D encounter, with the dynamite wing scoring a hat-trick to take the Pumas to a thrilling 39-27 win.
Michael Cheika’s men advance to a meeting with Pool C winners Wales next Saturday in Marseille, with their attacking game appearing to be in fine fettle as Argentina eye a deep tournament run.
The head coach’s seven year stint overseeing the Brave Blossoms had lifted Japanese rugby to new heights, and while this campaign proved a tournament too far for a squad in need of a refresh, Joseph will depart very much in credit.
Japan finish third in Pool D and will therefore qualify automatically for the 2027 World Cup in Australia, with Wallabies coach Eddie Jones among those linked to the vacancy that Joseph leaves.
Argentina set up World Cup quarter-final meeting with Wales after beating Japan
Argentina set up a World Cup quarter-final against Wales as Mateo Carreras’ hat-trick helped them see off Japan 39-27 in their winner-takes-all Pool D clash.
With both sides knowing victory would see them take second place in the pool at the other’s expense to join table-toppers England in the next round, Los Pumas sealed the spot after scoring five tries in Nantes, with Carreras the star man.
A fast start by Michael Cheika’s side saw Santiago Chocobares burst through a crowd of players to cross in the second minute, with Emiliano Boffelli successfully converting.
Jamie Joseph’s Japan hit back in the 16th minute when Amato Fakatava chipped over a defender, reclaimed the ball and touched down, and Rikiya Matsuda kicked the extras, before the Brave Blossoms were reduced to 14 men by a yellow card for Pieter Labuschagne.
Carerras then registered his first try to put Argentina back in front in the 28th minute and a subsequent penalty from Boffelli – who had missed one earlier, along with his second conversion attempt – made it 15-7.
Japan again rallied, with Naoto Saito crossing and Matsuda converting to leave a point in it heading into the interval.
Carreras registered his second try, converted by Boffelli, early in the second half, before a Matsuda penalty and Lomano Lemeki drop goal closed the gap to two points at 22-20.
Argentina then wrapped things up as Boffelli scored a try and converted, and Carreras subsequently completed his treble, with Nicolas Sanchez kicking that conversion and a further penalty with five minutes left.
They will now take on Wales in Marseille on Saturday.