Ireland winger Keith Earls insisted he and his team-mates would take defeat "on the chin" after hosts Japan inflicted a 19-12 defeat on Joe Schmidt’s men.

Leading 12-9 at the interval, Ireland were utterly impotent after the restart as they failed to register a single score.

A clearly disappointed Earls managed to maintain his magnanimity in defeat, telling RTÉ Sport: "It’s a World Cup, the standards are high.

"It’s a credit to Japan. They played unbelievably well.

"Our discipline let us down a small bit, but all credit to them, we have to take it on the chin.

"They got us. We have to have a serious look at ourselves."  

"We knew they were a good side. We played against them twice a couple of years ago.

"I know they’re a proud nation and no matter what the scoreline was going to be, they were never going to go away.

"They got us. We have to have a serious look at ourselves."  

When Schmidt conducts his own private post-mortem, he will likely focus on an unsatisfactory penalty count, and Earls conceded Irish discipline was not all that it could have been.  

"We were quite comfortable in the first 20 minutes, but being comfortable isn’t good enough in a World Cup and Japan came back", the 31-year-old added.

"Our discipline let us down, we gave them field position and they beat us up around the breakdown as well."

"It's up to us not to give the referee a chance to blow us, we’re a proud team."

Despite a couple of contentious penalty calls by referee Angus Gardner, Earls eschewed the blame game for a dose of searing honesty.  

"It’s up to us not to give the referee a chance to blow us, we’re a proud team on our discipline, and maybe at times we let ourselves down," he said.  

"But Japan were class today, end of story.

"We saw what Japan did in the last World Cup. They beat South Africa in the last World Cup and South Africa went on to a semi-final.

"It’s all about picking ourselves up now, having a good look at ourselves and we’ve a five-day turnaround.

"It’s all about recovery and going after Russia."