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World Cup thriller: Rampant Carreras helps Argentina sink Japan

By PA
Mateo Carreras of Argentina celebrates with Lucio Cinti and Juan Cruz Mallia of Argentina after scoring his team's second try during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Japan and Argentina at Stade de la Beaujoire on October 08, 2023 in Nantes, France. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

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.

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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.

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Jamie Joseph’s Japan hit back in the 16th minute when Amata 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.

Attack

156
Passes
143
107
Ball Carries
113
209m
Post Contact Metres
346m
6
Line Breaks
10

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.

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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.

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