Japan's second win of the Rugby World Cup boosted their hopes of back-to-back quarter-final appearances ©Getty Images

Japan beat 14-player Samoa in Toulouse to boost their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the men's Rugby World Cup.

Japan became the first Asian team to reach the knockout stages of the tournament when they hosted the last edition in 2019, and trailed opponents Samoa on points difference going into their third Pool D match in France after both teams had won one and lost one of their opening two.

Lappies Labuschagné opened the scoring on 14 minutes for Japan with a try converted by Rikiya Matsuda to put them 7-0 in front at the Stadium de Toulouse, before Samoa got off the mark with three points from a D'Angelo Leuila penalty.

A Matsuda penalty restored Japan's seven-point cushion, and they looked set to head into half-time in firm control when he added his second conversion of the match, this time from Michael Leitch's try.

However, Seilala Lam restored hope for Samoa with two minutes remaining as his try made it 17-8.

Samoa were reduced to 14 players on 48 minutes, a yellow card for Ben Lam's dangerous tackle on Labuschagné upgraded to red by the television match official to end his evening.

Japan took advantage with a third try from Kazuki Himeno, and went 25-8 ahead through Matsuda's penalty.

Duncan Paia'aua kept Samoa's hopes alive with a try converted by Christian Leali'ifano, but they slipped further behind to another penalty from Matsuda.

Leali'ifano grabbed a late try which he himself converted, but it was not enough to prevent a 28-22 defeat for Samoa.

The result sent England into the quarter-finals in top spot from Pool D, joining Wales from Pool C in the last eight.

Japan leapfrogged their opponents into second place on nine points.

With Argentina facing winless Chile in Nantes on Saturday (September 30), the final Pool D match between Japan and Argentina is likely to prove crucial to determining who joins England in the knockout stage.

Samoa face England in their last Pool D encounter.

Third place in each pool earns an automatic qualifying place in the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

Tomorrow's match is set to feature New Zealand against Italy in Lyon in Pool A.