The phrase “do or die” was bandied around a lot in the buildup to Japan’s final Pool D game against Argentina at the Rugby World Cup.

Two proud rugby nations, both falling short of their potential, both suggesting they had much more to give, but only one of which could progress to the quarterfinals.

Fans have witnessed all sorts of games at this tournament: pummelings, upsets, anticlimaxes, turgid affairs, and toe-to-toe thrillers. But this one was right up there with the best of them. A sun-dappled try fest between two sides that both set out to win by playing the most inventive rugby possible. It was a game fit for the sport’s greatest stage, and one that actually lived up to its billing.