Sunday, March 11, 2007

2007 World Cup 1: Rugby

Although most egg-chasing eyes are on the Six Nations as that particular tournament reaches its climax, those of us who don't live in the British Isles, France or Italy have to get our fix elsewhere. And what better place than Lisbon's lovely University Stadium, lined with fragrant eucalyptus and pine trees, to watch the play-off for the final place in the Rugby World Cup, to be held in France this Autumn.

Before I got here, I didn't realise they even played rugby in Portugal, let alone that the national team was actually fairly competitive. Anyway, it turns out Portugal aren't bad at all and are taking on Uruguay over two legs for a chance to play in the main event later this year.

We watched the first match yesterday (free entry and a free scarf (not necessary in the 20 degree sunshine) and in front of an enthusiastic crowd, Portugal prevailed 12-5 in a largely attritional affair. They probably just deserved the victory, taking advantage of two Uruguayan sin-binnings to score their two tries. They were a bit unfortunate to concede a late try in the final minute, but I guess it leaves things finely poised for the return leg in Montevideo in a couple of weeks.

I hope Portugal can get through, as it would be great to have a new country at the World Cup, and given their defensive strength (very well drilled, I thought) I think their noses are just ahead.

Will write about the cricket later, am now off to watch second half of Chelsea-Spurs. (C'mon you spuds!)

1 comment:

Sportingo said...


Would you be interested in publishing any articles on the Rugby World Cup?