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"I can't believe it," loose forward Hendrik Tui said. "We're going to go back to the hotel, and have a few beers. We are still floating on air."
Ever the pragmatist, team coach Eddie Jones put into perspective what this will mean in Japan, where football heroes such as Keisuke Honda and, before him, Hidetoshi Nakata, have got used to sharing the sporting headlines with baseball stars.
Rugby has always been a niche sport, but Jones hopes this result will cause an upsurge in popularity.
"Now history has changed for Japanese rugby," he said. "Now we'll have kids back home who wanted to be baseball or soccer players -- like Keisuke Honda, or like Nakata -- who want to be the next Gorumaru."
Image 1 of 10: BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Ayumu Goromaru of Japan tackles Jean De Villiers of South Africa during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between South Africa and Japan at the Brighton Community Stadium on September 19, 2015 in Brighton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Honda, with his dashing looks and peroxide-blond hair, plays for Italian side AC Milan and is a superstar. Before him, Nakata became the face of football in Asia in the late 1990s and early 2000s after making his name in the Serie A with Roma and Parma.
If any rugby player deserves to become a household name in Tokyo, then it's fullback Ayumu Goromaru. Quite simply, he produced the game of his life.
He was full of panache, daring running, thrilling risk-taking, and incredibly precise kicking. Performing under massive pressure, he nailed a superb conversion to level the scores to make it 29-29 -- and that was from his own try.
Added to that, he kicked five penalties in an atmosphere that was electric. When his try came late on at Brighton's Community Stadium, bringing Japan back into the match, the crowd's cheers almost lifted the roof off.