The streets of Nantes on Sunday night were a sign of what could have been for Japan. Hordes of Argentinians, decked out in their national colors, gathered on the cobblestones to drink the pubs dry and belt out chants as they celebrated another week at the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
For the Brave Blossoms, it's homeward bound. And though their performances improved markedly as the tournament progressed, the obituary reads two wins from four and a pool-stage exit.
In the cold light of day, that will have to go down as a failure.