Goromaru gutted, but proud

Date published: October 12 2015

Japan's Ayumu Goromaru is upset that his team did not make the quarter-finals but is proud of the fantastic results they achieved at the Rugby World Cup.

Eddie Jones' men ended their World Cup campaign on a high on Sunday night with a well deserved 28-18 win over USA in Gloucester.

The veteran full-back was solid under the high ball and consistent off the kicking tee, earning him his second man-of-the-match of the World Cup after his 24 point haul in the upset over South Africa.

Despite three wins out of four pool games, the Brave Blossoms fell just two bonus points short of qualifying for the quarter-finals, which Goromaru revealed was their goal.

"It's complicated," said the 29-year-old after the USA match. 

"Our goal was to get to the quarter-finals so I don't think there's a single player on the team who's happy with the outcome.

"Everyone on this team is a hero. If we had reached the quarter-finals and played in Twickenham before a crowd of 100 000, it would have changed our lives. I feel like I'm out for a walk on a cloudy day.

"There's no sense of accomplishment. Everyone we met and came across in the last four years on this journey was important not only to me but to the entire team."

Teammate and scrum-half Fumiaki Tanaka said that it had been a tough road to the 2015 World Cup under the tutelage of Jones, but he is hoping the reward will come at the next tournament, which will be hosted in Japan.

"It's been a really tough four years," said the Highlanders scrum-half.

"It's just been one challenge after another. The way things have turned out is obviously disappointing but we now have a goal of reaching the quarters at the next one.

"After the Scotland win [over Samoa] I really had a hard time accepting the situation but I told myself how important a third win would be for us and managed to get on with it."