The Brave Blossoms conjured a triumph every inch as stunning as their 34-32 win over South Africa in Brighton at the 2015 World Cup.
But Ireland's display was not akin to their 62-12 thrashing of Russian Federation at the 2011 World Cup or indeed reigning champion New Zealand's 63-0 rout of Canada on Wednesday.
"I don't take away anything from the Japan side but our players deserve better than that".
"We made 11 changes today and we got the performance that we needed and people will maybe have expected more of the performance", he said.
Kolisi said: "We've got a really important game, and every game from now is a play-off game because, if we slip up, we are out of the competition. I'm gutted for the players".
Asked whether there was now more excitement around Japan's matches than those of the world champion All Blacks, Joseph struggled to put his feelings into words.
But Stockdale believes it is too facile to suggest that sharp analysis alone would ever be enough for a Test match upset. "I think we're focused and in a great position".
Social media numbers were also impressive, as #RWC2019 topped the global trends on opening night, with more than 624.5 million views of the official Rugby World Cup GIFs on the Giphy Channel. They were going wide-wide so we need to treat them with utmost respect. The Samoan team played very well - four days after a match (against Scotland), to be able to front up, they should be very proud of that.
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"We were a bit frantic in the first half", admitted Joseph.
"I think we bounced back well".
"We showed incredible belief and worked to the very end".
Coach Steve Jackson, who was caught on the big screen shaking his head at the decision, bemoaned the fact the Manu received their fifth yellow card of the tournament while Japanese lock James Moore was only penalised for making with the head of Tim Nanai Williams, who failed a head injury assessment and did not play in the second half. "That's one of the reasons we were successful".
Taefu scored and converted a try that gave Samoa brief hope before Fukuoka added a late third try for Japan. Japan lead Pool A with 14 points, three clear of Ireland.
Samoa crashed out of the tournament after their opening 34-9 win over Russian Federation was followed by a 34-0 drubbing by Scotland in their next game.
"Luckily for us, we got through in the last minute for the bonus point so we are delighted about the result".
Japan 38 (Timothy Lafaele, Kazuki Himeno, Kenki Fukuoka, Kotaro Matsushima tries; Yu Tamura, 3 conversions, 4 penalties) Samoa 19 (Henry Taefu try, conversion, 4 penalties). "They absolutely gave everything", said Russian Federation coach Lyn Jones.
"Matsushima had the last word, however, when he produced a sharp step inside centre Alapati Leiua and rode the tackle of Pete Cowley for Japan's fourth try deep in extra-time".