Japan fullback Nathan Ashley played in his first World Cup and possibly his last as the Land of the Rising Sun bowed out in the quarter-finals. The 31-year-old Australian, originally from Sydney, was one of several expatriate players representing the Japanese side, who were hoping they would go far in the tournament. Japan were never really in the match as they allowed the rugged Russians to steal a place in the semi-finals. 'Our first two games in the tournament went according to plan,' Ashley said after the 29-5 loss. This morning against Russia was a lot different from our previous performances. I am extremely disappointed with the result. We certainly wanted to go another step. 'Against Russia, it was our defensive line [that let them down]. We gave it away too easily. If you don't have the ball, you won't win the game. Russia held on to their chances and played well. Russia reached the plate final last time so they have a history in the World Cup. Japan are quite often in the bowl final. It was a step up for us but we probably had our worst game. But Russia didn't allow us to play well, so credit to them.' Ashley said Japan were expected to reach the plate competition, given the experience they have in Ryohei Miki and Kiyonori Tanaka, who appeared in the World Cup finals in Argentina. 'We are a good team and we got the experience and I am sure the Russians did too,' said Ashley, who plays for IBM in the Japanese domestic league. With Japan out of this year's tournament, what's in store for the Asian giants? 'Next month there are the Singapore Sevens and we're not sure whether we are going to participate. Singapore is the next leg of the World Series and if we play in that, we hope to do well in that too,' Ashley said. 'I am sure we will get a summing up of the competition now that it's finished for us. We haven't yet had a meeting because we were expected to win that game [against Russia]. 'We competed in Wellington earlier in the year, but it was a completely different make-up of sides. We lost in the Shield finals there. There's quite a number of young guys on the side. In the next few years, if we continue to participate in the World Series competition, Japan have the speed and we could do well. 'We will be back again in four years' time.'