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Ireland continue their Rugby World Cup campaign with a match-up against Tonga this evening at the Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes.
Andy Farrell’s men demolished Romania last week in a 12-try mauling that saw them score 82 points in the scorching heat of Bordeaux. Farrell has made just four changes to his starting XV which means another bonus point victory is expected here to set Ireland in good stead before they face World Cup holders South Africa and steadfast Scotland.
Tonga, meanwhile, have never made it out of the World Cup pool stage. They struggled in their warm-ups for this tournament and last defeated beat a top-tier side in 2016, when they edged past Italy. George Moala is suspended for this game and for the meetings with Scotland and South Africa but there are no less than four former All Blacks in their line-up after a change to World Rugby’s eligibility rules. Can they pull off a surprising win against the Irish today?
Follow all the action from the Stade de la Beaujoire below. Get all the Rugby World Cup odds here and the latest tips and odds for Ireland vs Tonga here.
Wales 21-8 Portugal, 66 minutes
Harry Latham-Coyle at the Stade de Nice:
“A huge roar as Nicolas Martins crossed in the corner, a nifty lineout move beautifully executed. Mike Tadjer, 34 and making a World Cup debut after 12 years of representing the country of his father, celebrated with a mighty, mighty punch of the air”
TRY! Wales 21-8 Portugal, (Nicolas Martins, 63 minutes)
Incredible try from Portugal!
The lineout is caught at the peak of the lift before the ball is immediately offloaded to Nicolas Martins. Wales are asleep and Martins nips through the gap at the front of the lineout before diving over the line.
The conversion is missed but Portugal celebrate that fantastic move and rightly so.
Wales 21-3 Portugal, 61 minutes
Portugal look fluid with the ball in hand and that is exemplified by replacement Raffaele Storti. He twists and weaves out of a couple of tackles before getting brough down 10 metres or so away from the Welsh try line.
A knock on and an offside award Portugal a penalty and they decide to run it. They want a try.
TRY! Wales 21-3 Portugal (Jac Morgan, 56 minutes)
This try is very similar to Wales’ second one. They inch closer and closer to the line before Jac Morgan drives over and Leigh Halfpenny completes the conversion.
The sting is eking away from Portugal who have a big mountain to climb now.
Wales 14-3 Portugal, 53 minutes
Portugal have been given an all round warning, first for collapsing the scrum and then for not allowing Williams to release the ball. They’re under pressure from Wales who are determined to get a third try with this attack.
From the next scrum, Wales run left with Tomos Williams carrying the ball. He looks for the offload but isbrough down before he can pass.
Wales 14-3 Portugal, 53 minutes
Wales try to get the ball on the outside after flinging the ball over to Johnny Williams. He’s brought down illegally and Portugal have to deal with a Welsh scrum right near their own try line.
Wales 14-3 Portugal, 50 minutes
Wales need to play smart. They need to keep hold of the ball, wear Portugal down and slowly force their way up the pitch. Instead the game is very open with mistakes happening on both sides.
Portugal win a penalty but Samuel Marques pushes it too wide and the lead remains 11 points.
Wales 14-3 Portugal, 44 minutes
Gareth Anscombe boots the ball into touch for a lineout after Wales in a penalty in a decent position. Nicolas Martins intercepts the ball in the lineout though and boot it away to ease a bit of the pressure.
They recover the ball and Wales have wasted a decent opportunity to press their advantage.
Second half! Wales 14-3 Portugal
Dewi Lake’s side get the second half started in Nice. Neither head coach has made any changes at the break so everything is as we were.
Can Wales dominate or will Portugal fight back over the next 40 minutes?
HT Wales 14-3 Portugal
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