Follow Mail Sport’s live blog for the latest scores, team news and updates as Wales take on European minnows Portugal looking for their second straight win after beating Fiji in tournament opener.
FT: Wales 28-8 Portugal
That was some game of rugby!
Wales managed to score their fourth try in the dying embers of the match to secure an all-important bonus point.
Stay with us as we’ll have all the latest fall out from the match!
Pinto receives a red card
The bunker review team have upgraded Pinto’s card to a red.
As wales kick the conversion to end the match.
Wales scrum just ahead of the posts- and Score
Wales are looking for a bonus point here with another try, and they have a scrum just two metres out from in front of the Portugal posts.
We’ve had a lot of scrums today with this being the 18th of the match.
Wales have one last drive for a bonus point and they win the ball, with Toby Falatau gathering the ball at the back of the scrum to power his way over the try line to give wales their fourth try and a bonus point.
Nasty collision on Adams, was it dangerous?
Pinto goes up to take a high catch and his foot goes into an unnatural position, catching Adams on the face with his boot.
Listening to Dickson he says ‘it is foul play, and meets the yellow card threshold’ and he will be sent to the sin bin, with the bunker review refree set to take a look at this one.
Perhaps a little harsh as it seemed like the winger had his eyes on the ball the full time, but that will be the end of his game and we won’t find out the decision of the bunker review until after the match.
Obstruction! Dickson denies the try after a review showed that Tomas Francis obstructed a tackler in the build up to the try.
That could be huge if it denies Wales a bonus point!
Five minutes to go and Portugal have a line out in the Welsh half…
TMO intervenes! BUT WALES SCORE!
Dickson overturns the earlier scrum after receiving information from the TMO, with Grady conceding a penalty after tackling a Portugal player off the ball.
It gives Portugal another chance to have a crack, but they lose possession and Rees-Zammit breaks free before of loading to Gareth Davies in support who dots down behind the goals.
But hold on… the Referee is actually taking a look at this even though the conversion was taken.
Wales have possession and are trying to mount an attack.
From a turn over they manage to recover the ball, but Costelow tries a cross-field kick to Adam and puts the ball into touch.
The play gets pulled back, after Wales knocked the ball on in the build up, with Portgual to put the ball in.
They win a penalty and spread the ball wide showing off their excellent handling skills, but frustratingly knock the ball on again. Meanwing we’ll have another scrum.
Subs coming on for both sides
Wales have brought Adams on for Halfpenny while Moura has come on for Guedes.
Portugal are battling hard
Portugal are seriously asking questions of Wales, they’re support runners are at every tackle and they’re playing some beautiful running rugby here.
Their final pass and composure has just been a little bit off today. But had it not been for that, we’d have a very different score line.
Wales, meanwhile, are showing their experience and are managing the game well and are playing to their strengths in the contact area and at the scrum.
Wow the roof has lifted off the stadium here in Nice!
Portugal have been excellent in the last five minutes building up play in the Welsh 22, winning a penalty and going for the corner.
Off the resulting line out, the Ports execute a stunning training ground move with Rafael Simons beautifully offloading at the top of the line out to Nicolas Martins who surprises the Welsh defenders crashing over for a try.
Marques can’t convert the score from the touchline.
Wales 21-8 Portugal
Subs for portugal
While we’ve been busy Portugal have been making some changes.
Storti has come on for Lima.
And Alves has been replaced by De Freitas.
Storti has had an instant impact in the game, bringing a big spark to the back line, weaving his way around several Wales players with the ball in hand.
It’s not the most attractive rugby, but it’s working
Wales were excellent building up phases there, controlling the ball in the tight, with their pack showing their power to bash Portugal back again and again until they got their score.
Wales 21-3 Portugal
It’s a similar try to Lake’s try before half time, with Morgan, a late change for the game, is driven over the Portugal try line to get their third try of the match.
Karl Dickson gives Portugal a life line!
I thought he was going to reach for the pocket, but it seems the referee is going to give Portugal another chance, after they spoil an excellent play from Wales.
Off the back of the scrum, Wales attack on the left flank, with Anscombe the play maker.
They force the penalty from their opponents and opt for the scrum.
Substitution for Wales
Taine Basham is on for Dan Lydiate as Wales havee a scrum ten metres out from the Portugal try line.
The scrum goes down, again, and Karl Dickson is having a word with both front rows – telling them to be more stable.
I can sense a card coming here for Portugal if they concede any more penalties…
ICYMI: Re-watch Louis Rees-Zammit’s try!
Rees-Zammit got Wales off to a flying start, scoring his second try of the tournament after touching down against Fiji!
Errors, errors, erros
It’s been a slow start to this first half.
Both sides seem to be making some really uncharacteristic errors, with Wales crossing in the middle of the park.
Marques has a crack at goal here from just inside his half, but cant quite thread the needle.
Changes incoming now for Wales, and a new front row is coming on here!
Lake is off for Elias, Domachowski is on for Lewis, Beard on for Jenkins.
And Wales turn it over!
It’s a huge shove from the Wales pack, who dominate the scrum and win back possession.
Anscombe floats a lovely chip over the top of the Portugal line, but Marta is there to take the mark.
He boots the ball up field to relieve the pressure.
Equally, Portugal concede another penalty at the scrum
Their timing, again, is all off here and they engage too early with Dickson blowing up quickly to award Wales a penalty.
Anscombe kicks for touch giving Wales a line out on the Portugal try line, but they can’t hold onto the ball.
Portugal kick the ball out straight away, and Wales, again, cannot control the ball at the line out again.
Portugal now have a scrum in their 22.
Unforced errors will frustrate Gatland
Six handling errors from Wales so far to Portugal’s one, while the Ports have struggled with the scrum, Gatland will be disappointed with his side’s composure with the ball in hand as they knock on to give Portugal possession at the start of the second half.
No changes at the break!
41′ We’re underway again here in Nice! Portugal again have shown their brilliant kicking skills to push wales back into their own half early on here.
Will that late score deflate Portugal?
Hopefully not. They’ve been seriously impressive.
Portugal certainly look to want to play in the loose with Wales trying to pull them into the contact areas.
Pinto, Guedes and Marta in the back three have been very impressive when they’ve had the ball in hand and will be hoping to get more on the ball in the second half – which is coming up right now!
What a half of rugby!
Portugal have seriously impressed so far in their opening game of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
They’ve played some very attractive rugby, throwing the ball around and causing some real problems for Wales in attack.
They have had several opportunities to score, but just haven’t quite had that clinical touch, with Martins perhaps having their biggest chance to score after breaking through the wales line that was set up by a mazing run from Guedes.
While Wales may have looked a little twichy so far in the first half, they have shown their experiencee and quality to take the lead. Rees-Zammit and Lake both dotted down with some very nicely worked tries, with Wales looking strong in attack.
Portugal, while they have been exciting at times, did seem to be making a few unforced errors at the breakdown and set piece which Gatland’s side have taken advantage of.
Johnny Williams was also shown a yellow card, disappointingly being sent to the sin bin for an unnecessary infringement, playing the ball on the floor.
Yet Wales held on and have settled into the game well. They look to be more in control and have made more metres (422) than their opponents (256) and 26 more carries at the interval.
TRY! Lake crashes over!
And Wales get their reward through their captain Dewi Lake, who taps and crashes over from ten metres, using his leg to drive over several Portuguese players.
Halfpenny converts the try and that is half-time in Nice!
Wales 14-3 Portugal
Williams did indeed knock on. The ball was squeased out of the back of his arm and the TMO rules no try.
But Wales still have a penalty…
TRY WALES! But it’s being checked…
Johnny Williams, after spending ten minutes in the sin bin, has finished off a great few phases, crashing down on the try line.
But it will be checked, as Karl Dickson seems to think he’s knocked on…
Wales are showing their experience here beating Portugal in the scrum and claiming a penalty inside their 22.
Faletau taps and goes and is dragged down before Williams has a crack at the try line.
And they’re on the scoreboard
Marques this time slots this one and it’s exactly what Os Lobos deserve after an excellent first half.
Wales 7-3 Portugal
Portugal’s kicking game is on fire!
Some big hits going in with prop forward Fernandes putting in a huge hit on a Welsh attacker.
Menawhile, Portugal retain possession and have kicked ANOTHER 50-22.
They retain the lineout and Marques has a stab at a drop goal from 30 metres out, but doesn’t slot the ball through the posts.
Fortunately they have a penalty, right in front of the posts.
Wales pressing here on Os Lobos
Wales have had a good bit of possession, with Toby Faletau breaking through the Portuguese line.
But Os Lobos have turned the tide kicking a stunning 50-22 to regain possession from a lineout just on Wales try line.
Portugal can’t come away with a score though, with referee Dickson awarding a penalty to Wales with Portugal holding the ball at the ruck.
Wales 7-0 Portugal
Yellow card for Johnny Williams
25′ Johnny Williams is sent to the sin bin for playing the ball on the ground stopping Marta from offloading the ball after he broke free down the left wing.
An end-to-end start here in Nice
20′ It’s been a very interesting start to the game. Both sides are showing plenty of quality.
Portugal have seriously impressed in attack, throwing the ball around and breaking free from the Welsh defence on multiple occasions.
Wales though were clinical in getting their opening score and, while at times Portugal have been dangerous, seem like they are mostly in control.
Wales have the feed on a scrum now in Portugal’s half and win another penalty with Portugal pre-engaging.
Reece-Zammit celebrates scoring his try by doing Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous celebration!
And Martins breaks free!
Finding himself in acres of space the openside flanker breaks free from the Wales defence and but for a superb last ditch tackle from Toby Faletau, he would have almost certainly scored.
Portugal really are playing some excellent running rugby here, with Wales hanging on defensively.
Wales 7-0 Portugal
Wales have the heavier pack, at 919kg to Portugal’s 876kg, but its Portugal who win the battle, with referee Karl Dickson giving a free kick in their favour.
They attack down the left wing with Pinto showing his pace down the flank.
But it’s wales who will score first, with Louis Rees-Zammit touching down on the corner against the run of play.
Wales recovered the ball and Jack Morgan’s drew several defenderes before offloading to the winger, who chased after his grubber kick to dot down in the corner.
Halfpenny converts the kick to put Wales 7-0 up.
Portugal looking good on the ball again
7′ Portugal are starting to break through the wales defence finding some gaps with some excellent rugby, chipping and chasing over the Welsh defence and look good moving the ball wide.
What a miss!!!
Wow! Marques, from a pretty comfortable angle, has missed the kick!
Portugal knocking on Wales’ doorstep!
3′ Portugal win a line-out in Wales’ 22 and they’re putting the pressure on Wales now. They’re looking comfortable moving the ball around and are maintaining possession nicely in the rucks.
They’re rewarded for their excellent work, winning a penalty for offside and they’ll go for the posts!
Good start from Wales
Portugal look physical, ushering Wales to the touchlines, but Wales have had the majority of possession to start and look good building up 10 phases making good ground up field.
1′ It’s Portugal kicking to Wales from left-to-right and we’re underway! Wales recover the ball and Williams kicks back upfield and manage to recover possession!
Kick off fast approaching!
We’ve just had the anthems and we’re ready to go here at the Allianz Riviera in Nice.
There was an almighty roar at the end of the Portuguese anthem, they are certainly up for this one!
An ’emotional occasion’ for Portugal
Portugal head coach and former France winger Patrice Lagisquet, who is also known as the ‘Bayonne Express’ has been speaking to S4C on what today’s match means for Portugal and claimed that it will be an emotional day.
‘For the players this is an emotional occasion, we have a lot of supporters, more than ever maybe,’ he said.
‘The players have to focus on what they have to do, if they get too emotional they won’t perform how they’d like but it’ll be difficult for the players, you never know what will happen.’
LATE CHANGES FOR WALES
Flanker Tommy Reffell has picked up a knock in the warm-up so has been replaced by Jac Morgan.
T-Minus 10 minutes to kick off!
The players are in the house and have been warming up ahead of today’s match.
Kick off is less than ten minutes away!
Gatland: ‘This is a potential banana skin for us’
Warren Gatland has admitted that Wales will need to be at their best today and show no complacency, claiming that Portugal, who are big underdogs in this match up, could be a ‘potential banana skin’.
The Wales boss, speaking on Portugal, said: ‘They have nothing to lose and they deserve to be here at the world cup this is their first game and for us it’s always potentially a banana skin.
‘We’ve made some changes and the message to those players is go out there and give a good performance and put your hand up for selection against Australia.
‘It was a tough last 10 minutes against Fiji last week, but at 32-14 we were really happy with the way things had gone but typical Fiji came back and it was a nail biter. We got there in the end.’
RECAP: Wales hold on to beat Fiji
Wales defeated Fiji 32-26 in their opening Rugby World Cup match last weekend, holding out to secure the victory in what was an extraordinary contest.
Fiji pushed on the Welsh right to the end and showed their physicality and athleticism asking big questions of Warren Gatland’s side.
Semi Radradra could have changed the narrative significantly, after he fumbled the ball ahead of the try line late on in the match.
Wales managed to hold on but it was a tight finish to an enthralling game!
How did Portugal qualify for the Rugby World Cup?
Portugal qualified for Group C of the Rugby World Cup after a last gasp drop-goal saw them draw 16-16 against USA in a four-team qualifying tourament earlier this year in Dubai.
They advanced to the World Cup amassing the most points from that tournament.
Portugal and Wales, meanwhile, have never played against eachother in the professional era. Their only meeting came in 1994 Wales won 102-11 during the 1995 Rugby World Cup qualifiers.
During the 2007 tournament, Portugal lost each of their four group matches against Scotland, the All Blacks, Italy and Romania.
But they have come a very long way in recent years, having finished second in the European Rugby Championship this year.
PORTUGAL STARTING XV
Portugal had to wait eight days to open only their second Rugby World Cup campaign.
They last appeared in the tournament in Paris in 2007 but today will be lead out by their captain Tomas Appleton, who plays rugby part-time and runs his own dental surgery in Lisbon.
Portugal XV: Guedes; Pinto, Lima, Appleton (capt), Marta; Portela, Marques; Fernandes, Tadjer, Alves, Bello, Cerqueira, Granate, Martins, Simoes.
Replacements: Costa, Campergue, Ferreira, Freitas, Wallis, Lucas, Moura, Storti.
Gareth Anscombe makes first World Cup start since 2015
Gareth Anscombe missed the 2019 Rugby World Cup after suffering a serious knee injury, but today he’ll make his first appearance at the tournament since their quarter-finals match against South Africa at the 2015 tournament.
He’ll don the 10 jersey today for Wales against Portugal and spoke about how grateful he was to Gatland for backing him to play at the World Cup.
‘To have the backing of the coaching staff was great,’ said Anscombe.
‘They spoke to me and said I was still in their plans, which was nice to hear. It’s been about getting myself right and ready for when an opportunity presented itself and here we are this weekend.
‘I’m expecting there to be a little bit of rust but hoping it will be fairly limited and I just want to do my role for the team.’
Gatland: ‘A lot of sore bodies’
Wales boss Warren Gatland has made a whopping 13 changes from his side that played against Fiji and he’s given some insight into why he’s made those changes.
Speaking to ITV he was asked whether the changes weree made because of injuries or a desire to rest players.
He replied, speaking on his playing cohort: ‘There was a lot of sore bodies, but also the six day turn around, short preparation.
‘I think this squad have all worked really hard over the last few months and we wanted to make sure that we gave as many people as possible the chance to get some rugby you never know what injuries we’ll pick up but the message is to put your hands up for selection next week.’
WALES STARTING XV
Warren Gatland has named THIRTEEN changes from his team that played against Fiji last week including a new front row that sees Nicky Smith, Dewi Lake and Dillon Lewis come in, with Lake set to captain the side.
Christ Tshiunza and Dafydd Jenkins come into the second row replacing Will Rowlands and Adam Beard, with Dan Lydiate, Tom Reffell and Toby Faletau coming in to the back row.
Lee Halfpenny comes in to replace Liam Reffell T. at full-back with Tomos Williams and Gareth Anscomb being chosen to play at nine and 10.
Wales XV: L Halfpenny; Rees-Zammit, Grady, J Williams, Dyer; Anscombe, T Williams; Smith, Lake (capt), D Lewis, Tshiunza, Jenkins, Lydiate, Reffell, Faletau.
Replacements Elias, Domachowski, Francis, Beard, Basham, G Davies, Costelow, Adams.
Welcome to our live blog for today’s Rugby World Cup Match between Wales and Portugal!
Wales are looking for their second successive win of the tournament today against minnows Portugal, after they defeated Fiji last weekend.
Portugal get their campaign underway with this beeing their first match in Pool D, in only their second ever appearance at the Rugby World Cup.
We’ll be bringing you all the live updates analysis and commentary from this afternoon’s match but let’s take a look at the latest team news from both camps.