In a hard-fought encounter at Stade de Nice, Wales secured their second consecutive victory in the Rugby World Cup 2023 by defeating a resilient and passionate Portugal team with a gritty scoreline of 28-8 in Pool C.
Wing Louis Rees-Zammit set the tone early with a try, and hooker Dewi Lake added another right on the stroke of halftime, giving Wales a 14-3 advantage. However, Portugal’s flanker Nicolas Martins came agonizingly close to scoring a try, only to be denied by a remarkable recovery tackle from Taulupe Faletau.
Late replacement flanker Jac Morgan, filling in for Tommy Reffell, extended Wales’ lead with a third try, but Portugal continued to display unwavering determination. Martins, in a well-deserved moment, secured Portugal’s first try, marking their return to the tournament after a 16-year absence, courtesy of a cleverly executed line-out move.
In the dying moments of the game, Faletau powered over the try line to secure a bonus point for Wales.
Jac Morgan, who was named the Mastercard Player of the Match, commented on his late inclusion, saying, “I was just happy to warm up, and Tommy [Reffell] had to withdraw in the last minute of the warm-up. Hopefully, he will recover quickly, and it’s nothing serious. We started our preparations as usual and went out there to perform. I must give full credit to Portugal; they were outstanding today. They brought tremendous physicality and tested us at various points in the game. They performed exceptionally well.”