SHOWS: YOKOHAMA, JAPAN (OCTOBER 14, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) JAPAN CAPTAIN, MICHAEL LEITCH, SAYING: "I haven't actually slept.
I have been awake the whole time.
I was in my bed at 1.30 and I have been awake ever since so I am a bit slow today.
Looking back, even since 2011, this team has grown so much and it is scary to think about how far this team could actually grow.
The last four games, we are getting better each time, confidence is growing.
The support the fans give us, we really feel that during the game." STORY: Japan captain Michael Leitch said on Monday (October 14) it was 'scary' to think just how much the Brave Blossoms could grow following the momentous victory over Scotland on Sunday (October 13) that secured their first ever Rugby World Cup quarter-final berth.
Japan produced a scintillating display of attacking rugby to beat Scotland 28-21 on an unforgettable night at Yokohama Stadium and progress from Pool A, becoming only the fourth tier-two nation to achieve this feat.
Leitch, who said that he hadn't been able to sleep all night following the excitement of Sunday's historic victory, believes the sky is the limit for Japanese rugby, not just at this tournament but going forward.
"Looking back, even since 2011, this team has grown so much and it is scary to think about how far this team could actually grow," reflected Leitch, who made his Japan debut in 2008.
After captaining the side in the World Cup opener against Russia, Leitch was dropped to the bench for the shock win over Ireland and coach Jamie Joseph has made several other bold decisions during the tournament, all of which have paid off.
The results have been consistent, with Japan winning seven of their last eight matches.
However, that one loss did come against quarter-final opponents South Africa, a 41-7 drubbing in the last World Cup warm-up match last month.
Japan feel they are a different side now but playing in the knockout stages, particularly against a team who have twice won the competition, is step into the unknown for all of Japan's players.
(Production: Jack Tarrant)