Wales scored a bonus-point fourth try in the last play of the game to beat Portugal 28-8 without ever completely subduing the feisty underdog playing its first Rugby World Cup game in 16 years on Sunday (NZT).
No. 8 Taulupe Faletau came off the back of the scrum and rumbled through three poor Portugal tackles for the final try in the 83rd minute, which ensured Wales came away with maximum points even if it didn’t dominate the Pool C game the way it expected.
Louis Rees Zammit opened the try count for the Welsh in the ninth minute, and celebrated his kick-and-chase score on the right wing with a version of Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous siuuu! leap and land — a cheeky take on Portugal’s most famous sports star.
Hooker and captain Dewi Lake drove over after taking a tap penalty but that second Wales try only came right at the end of the half.
Jac Morgan, called into the team late to replace Tommy Reffell at openside flank, got Wales’ third early in the second.
But Wales still didn’t run away with it and the biggest cheer of the day in Nice came when Portugal pulled off a slick lineout trick that resulted in flanker Nicolas Martins getting a pass from an airborne Rafael Simoes to score down the short side.
The stadium erupted in delight.
Portugal finished the game with 14 men after right wing Vincent Pinto was given a yellow card and the incident put on review after he jumped for a catch and stuck a leg out which caught Wales’ Josh Adams in the face.
Just after Faletau went over for the final try, word was passed back to referee Karl Dickson that Pinto’s offense was upgraded to a red card, putting a late downer on what was an uplifting dispay from one of the World Cup’s outsiders.