Jamie Joseph paid his respects to victims of Tyhoon Hagibis after Japan’s tenacious victory over Scotland.
Joseph’s side have now made it into a quarter-finals of a Rugby World Cup for the first time in their history after a thrilling 28-21 victory in Yokohama.
After the historic victory, Joseph was extremely keen to first pay his respects to those that lost their lives before analysing any of the rugby played.
“I think that you can just look around and see how this is a special a moment for our team and for this country,” said the head coach.
“Before I talk about the footy, I really want to acknowledge the families that have lost people in the typhoon today.
“That really motivated our team. We talked about it this morning as a group. The players really wanted to play because whilst celebrating tonight there are a lot of people that aren’t. I just would like to acknowledge that.”
Typhoon Hagibis made landfall south of Tokyo on Saturday evening and battered central and northern Japan with torrents of rain and powerful gusts of wind.
“Sometimes those sorts of things can be overwhelming but I think that [playing for them] came out in the match today, particularly when at times it was really, really tough,” Joseph added in his post-match press conference.
“I thought that the Scottish team were unbelievable in all parts of the game, they took it too us right from the start,” he added.
Japan went into the Test knowing that they needed to win by at least eight points to make the quarter-finals for the first time. After conceding the first points of the Test, the home side hit back with four unanswered tries to lead 28-7 after 44 minutes.
“They scored [early] and in some parts of the game they out-played and out-matched us, but it’s the tenacity of our team at crucial parts of the Test that paid dividends for us.
“Then we were just able to hang on until the very end and I think that a lot of that was to do with what’s going on inside our own camp and the fact that we’re playing a home World Cup.
“We all see, and feel, the amount of support that is behind our team and that’s incredibly motivational.”
Japan will face-off against South Africa in the quarter-finals, a fixture that’s already steeped in Rugby World Cup history due to the Brave Blossoms’ triumph over the Springboks in 2015.