Wales withstood a superb display of endeavour from Portugal to claim an entertaining 28-8 victory in their World Cup Pool C clash yesterday, as Taulupe Faletau’s try with the last play of the game earned a vital bonus point.
Wales coach Warren Gatland described the fixture as “a slippery one” and so it proved as Portugal took the game to their more vaunted opponents, who will need a vast improvement when they face Australia next Sunday.
Wales have now won 12 of their last 13 pool matches at the World Cup and scored tries through wing Louis Rees-Zammit, hooker Dewi Lake and flanker Jac Morgan, before Faletau barged over for the crucial score.
Portugal, back at the World Cup for the first time since 2007, played with pace and purpose, especially in the first half, running the ball at every opportunity in an eye-catching display.
They trailed 14-3 at the break but claimed a second-half try via flanker Nicolas Martins after a brilliant line-out move that typified their effort.
Meanwhile, Johnny Sexton became Ireland’s all-time leading points scorer as the Six Nations champions continued their impressive start to the World Cup with a 59-16 win over a committed Tonga side.
The top-ranked Irish were given a thorough workout by the physical Tongans ahead of their crunch Pool B matches against South Africa and Scotland but eight tries, two from centre Bundee Aki, got them safely across the line.
Flyhalf Sexton scored his team’s fourth try in the 38th minute to surpass Ronan O’Gara’s tally of 1,083 points and secure a bonus point before leaving his team mates to complete Ireland’s 15th straight win.
Number eight Vaea Fifita, one of four former All Blacks in the Tonga side, scored his team’s only try just before halftime as Ireland successfully shackled the elite talent in their opponents’ backline.