Match Centre: Rugby World Cup Pool C: Australia 34-14 Portugal

Fraser McReight of Australia scores his team's fourth try during the Rugby World Cup game against Portugal
Fraser McReight of Australia scores his team's fourth try during the Rugby World Cup game against Portugal
©Photo by Julian Finney - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

Australia 34-14 Portugal, Pool C, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard

Australia maintain their slim chance of reaching the quarter-final in the ongoing Rugby World Cup as they defeated Portugal 34-14 in their Pool C encounter at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Sunday.

Australia now move to the second position in the table with 11 points and now will be desperately hoping Fiji to lose their game against Portugal at Stadium de Toulouse on 8th October to have any chances of making to the top eight.

Australia had a late change ahead of the game with Carter Gordan ruled out of the game allowing a lifeline for Samu Kerevi joins the replacements leaving Ben Donaldson being the only fly-half specialist in the matchday squad. The game also saw James Slipper surpass 16-year-old record of George Gregan to become the most-capped Wallabies player in World Cups as he made his 21st appearance.

Donaldson started the proceedings with a fourth minute penalty goal for Australia after Diogo Ferreira was penalised for collapsing a scrum but Eddie Jones' side were put under early pressure by Portugal as Jeromino Portela sent a well-timed pass for Pedro Bettencourt to touchdown in the 11th minute and Samuel Marques followed with the conversion to make it 3-7.

The 15th minute saw Portugal reduced to 14 players temporarily with Pedro Bettencourt sin-binned for a high tackle on Izaia Perese but Donaldson missed out on the conversion.

Australia stepped up their ante with the numerical advantage on their side as Rob Valetini offloaded for Richie Arnold to crossover in the 19th minute and four minutes later they created the space for skipper David Porecki to dot down. Donaldson kicked both the conversions as Eddie Jones' men increased their lead to 17-7.

The Wallabies secured their third try before the break as Angus Bell powered over the line and once again Donaldson was spot on with the extras. It was also Australia's third try when Bettencourt was in the sin-bin as they completed the opening half with a 24-7 lead.

The bonus point for Australia came eight minutes into the second half as Nawaqanitawase sent a pass for McReight to crossover and Donaldson kicked the extras to make it 29-7.

Australia's Matthew Faessler was yellow carded in the 60th minute for illegally bringing down a maul and shortly Tadjer's try was disallowed as he lost control when he was looking to finish. Kerevi, who was a late inclusion was yellow carded pushing them to 13 players temporarily.

Portugal managed to get their second try in the 71st minute as Rafael Simoes dived from close range but his effort was negated when Kerevi and Bell combined to send Marika Koroibete over the line. Donaldson missed out on the conversion but that could not stop the Wallabies from completing a 20-point victory.

Points Table: Pool C

Position Team Played Won Lost Points
1 Wales 3 3 0 14
2 Australia 4 2 2 11
3 Fiji 3 2 1 10
4 Georgia 3 0 1 3
5 Portugal 3 0 2 2

Team line up:

Australia: Andrew Kellaway; Mark Nawaqanitawase, Izaia Perese, Lalakai Foketi, Marika Koroibete; Ben Donaldson, Tate McDermott; Angus Bell, David Porecki (captain), James Slipper; Nick Frost, Richard Arnold; Tom Hooper, Fraser McReight, Rob Valetini

Reserves: Matt Faessler, Blake Schoupp, Pone Fa’amausili, Robert Leota, Josh Kemeny, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Samu Kerevi, Suli Vunivalu.

Portugal: Nuno Sousa Guedes; Raffaele Storti, Pedro Bettencourt, Tomás Appleton (captain), Rodrigo Marta; Jerónimo Portela, Samuel Marques; David Costa, Mike Tadjer, Diogo Hasse Ferreira; José Madeira, Martim Belo; David Wallis, Nicolas Martins, Thibault de Freitas

Reserves: Francisco Fernandes, Duarte Diniz, Francisco Bruno, Steevy Cerqueira, Rafael Simões, João Belo, Joris Moura, Manuel Cardoso Pinto