Japan captain pays tribute to Typhoon Hagibis victims

Japan captain Michael Leitch said his side were "grateful for the opportunity to inspire" their nation in the wake of Typhoon Hagibis. Clive Rose -- World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

YOKOHAMA -- Japan captain Michael Leitch and coach Jamie Joseph said their win over Scotland was motivated by inspiring a country that was hit by Typhoon Hagibis on Saturday.

The typhoon claimed 19 lives, with 16 people missing as of Sunday evening and hundreds of thousands of homes without power.

The final pool stage match of the 2019 Rugby World Cup was preceded by a moment's silence to remember those who died in the typhoon, and Leitch said the team had those affected by the storm at the forefront of their minds as they beat Scotland 28-21 to book a place in the knockout stages.

"Before the match started at the team hotel, the players already knew how this game was [about] more than just us," Leitch said.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to inspire Japan, and we showed that for 80 minutes tonight."

Joseph opened the Japan media conference by paying his own tribute to those who died in the typhoon.

"We woke up this morning, and 19 people were killed in the typhoon, with 12 people missing," Joseph said. "We talked about that as a team, and sometimes those sorts of things can be overwhelming, but that [emotion] came out in the match today."

He added: "The last few minutes were a Test match we didn't want to lose, and the people we were playing for helped us through in those last few minutes."