First win ever at a Rugby World Cup for Portugal
Portugal’s national rugby team pulled off a historic 24-23 win against Fiji on Sunday to secure the country’s first ever victory at a Rugby World Cup.
The win did not come without some late game drama as Portugal took the lead with a late try followed by a conversion in the final seconds of the match.
Portugal’s coach Patrice Lagisquet was ecstatic after the historic win.
“It’s incredible. It’s unbelievable,” said Lagisquet. “They always find resources I never expect. The way they could score, it’s amazing.
“Even if we work a lot to be able to do things like that, they still surprise me after four years. It is an incredible group, an incredible team,” he added.
Mike Tadjer played his last game for Portugal before retirement and said he felt accomplished.
“I can die tomorrow,” he said. “To finish like that, it is unbelievable for me. For four years we built (towards) this.”
The win against Fiji was Portugal’s first victory in two World Cup finals appearances and a total of eight games in the competition.
The result left Portugal in fourth place in Group C with six points, three more than Georgia, while Fiji still managed to qualify for the quarter-finals by winning a defensive bonus point.
The national team returns home without the dream of automatically qualifying for the next World Cup finals in Australia in 2027, which would only have been possible if they finished in the top three, but with practically all their other objectives completed, including their first ever win in the biggest international team competition.