SHIZUOKA, 27 Sep - Japan's hat-trick hero Kotaro Matsushima vowed to continue his fine form with more tries as he gears up to face the world's No.2-ranked side Ireland on Saturday.
Speaking after the captain's run at the Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, the winger, pictured above right, said it was his job to score, but that there was more to come from his team-mates as well for their biggest pool-stage challenge.
"There were lots of things that didn't go well in attack against Russia but the nerves should be gone from us all by tomorrow," Matsushima said. "There'll be good chances once the ball comes out wide and I'd like to score two tries as a wing."
The stellar performance against Russia caught the headlines in and outside Japan, and he is not ashamed to say he has the necessary ego for the celebrity role - as long as it helps the team.
"If I manage to show what I have, then the world will recognise me," he said. "This isn't an individual sport so I'll be putting my team first but when the ball comes around I want to take them on with my footwork and pace and showcase myself."
The kicking game from Ireland and the unconvincing catching from the Brave Blossoms mean there will likely be a pattern of play during the encounter but the 26-year-old says the back three will be up for the challenge.
"The first thing is to persevere. Even if we drop (kicks) we need to maintain a strong connection among the back three, keep our positions where each of us can help each other out and don't give away possession easily," he said. "We need to start with the catcher doing his job."
The fervent home support provided some backdrop to the opener of the first World Cup in Asia on 20 September at Tokyo Stadium but also gave Matsushima's team something new to work on.
"The calls of space available out wide from players there to those inside were hard to transmit with all the cheers," he said. "Those near the edge will want to send accurate messages fast - and will also have to - as we won't cut it without them against strong teams."
The two nations meet for the first time since June 2017, when Ireland won 35-13 and 50-22 during a test series in Japan, but Matsushima - he was born in South Africa to Zimbabwean-Japanese parents and raised in Japan with a brief stint at the Sharks Academy in Durban from 2013 - insists they are now a matured proposition.
"There are things that are different tactically and now we have a much better understanding of that," he said. "We're now all on the same page as a team and that's the difference. We've grown in continuation of our attack and the key will be how patient we can be until we score."