Argentina's 19-10 win over Samoa in Pool D of the Rugby World Cup in Saint-Etienne on Friday night would have been watched with much interest at the Japan team hotel in Toulouse.

The victory keeps the Pumas alive in the tournament following their opening-round loss to England and the four points they earned left them just one point behind Japan and Samoa, and five behind England. Chile, the fifth team in the group, are currently without a point ahead of their game Saturday against England in Lille.

Japan play Samoa on Sept. 28 in Toulouse before wrapping up their pool campaign against Argentina on Oct. 8 in Nantes, and they will be hoping the Pacific islanders are as error-strewn as they were on a wet night at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

Emiliano Boffelli of Argentina (C) fends off a tackle during a Rugby World Cup match against Samoa on Sept. 22, 2023, in Saint-Etienne, France. (Kyodo)

Aside from a plethora of handling errors, the Samoans were penalized 13 times, had two of their own line-outs stolen and missed 36 tackles.

"We made too many mistakes and we didn't adapt to the conditions, particularly at the start of the game," said Samoa coach Seilala Mapusua. "I thought Argentina executed their game plan really well and we weren't able to adapt."

The Pumas, meanwhile, dominated possession and territory, meaning they only had to make 77 tackles, keeping them fresh for their game with South American neighbors Chile on Sept. 30.

Santiago Carreras of Argentina kicks the ball during a Rugby World Cup match between Argentina and Samoa on Sept. 22, 2023, in Saint-Etienne, France. (Gaspafotos/MB Media/Getty/Kyodo)

"It's a massive victory for us," said Argentina captain Julian Montoya. "It was very important for this tournament. We started the last game against England and didn't do what we were supposed to do. Today we did it pretty well. Still a lot of things to improve but that's exciting at the same time."

While Argentina have a 10-day turnaround before taking on the weakest team in the pool, Mapusua's men play Japan in six days.

"This week will be about getting the players fresh and regrounding our team, taking everything that we can learn from this game and applying it to the next game," said Mapusua, who spent five years in Japan playing for Kubota Spears (as they were called then) and Kamaishi Seawaves.

"Argentina had two weeks off before we played tonight and I understand Japan also have two weeks off before we play them, so I'm sure they'll be hungry to play. We'll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow."

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