Ireland outhalf Joey Carbery has confirmed he was trying to save a losing bonus point when he chose to kick the ball out in the final moments of their loss against Japan.
The second-half substitute received the ball with Ireland seven points behind and elected to clear their lines instead of attempting one last attack.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Carbery explained he 'didn't see too many other options.'
I suppose we were under pressure and there wasn't too much happening at the time. The ball kinda came quickly to me. I knew we were still in with a losing bonus point and I didn't see too many other options on, so I just put it out.
I didn't hear anything but I suppose the ball got turned over so quickly and like I said, I haven't seen it back. At the time, I thought it was the best option.
Joe Schmidt also backed the decision.
"It means that we’ve got six points from our two pool games so far, Japan have got nine and Samoa have got five. So they're the ones who've got points so far and you've got to finish in the top two.
"So, keeping that bonus point allowed us to stay in front of Samoa in the short-term and we know that Scotland will be a player and Russia will line us up in five days' time."
Speaking on Eir Sport, Gordon Darcy was perplexed by the move.
"You are just well beaten at that stage. I wouldn't say decision-making was done very, well it was not done very well at that point."
The losing bonus point means they now stand on six points after two games. The maximum total now is 16. Attention turns to Thursday where Ireland will play Russia in Kobe City.