Winger Kotaro Matsushima became the first ever Japan player to score a hat-trick at a Rugby World Cup, as Japan beat Russia 30-10 in the opening game.
Russia scored early, with their fifth minute try being the quickest ever in a Rugby World Cup opening match. But while it was a tight first half, Japan looked comfortable in the second.
South African born flyer Matsushima crossed four times but had one try disallowed. He was later awarded the Mastercard Player of the Match, by New Zealand legend Dan Carter.
“Most of the job was from the forwards,” he said post match. He was correct too, as the Japan front row made 32 tackles and didn’t miss one between them.
Japan have now won their opening matches in the last two World Cups, after not having won any of their opening matches in the previous seven tournaments they took part in.