Home » Wales 7-3 Portugal – Rugby World Cup LIVE: Louis Rees-Zammit opens the scoring as Wales seek second straight win against European minnows Portugal in Nice

Wales 7-3 Portugal – Rugby World Cup LIVE: Louis Rees-Zammit opens the scoring as Wales seek second straight win against European minnows Portugal in Nice

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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. 

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.

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.

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.

SIUUU

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.

First Scrum!

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.

TRY! WALES!

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.

KICK OFF!

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.

Good afternoon!

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.

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