- Portugal draws with Georgia in Rugby World Cup.
- Missed penalties deny Portugal victory.
- Georgia remains unbeaten against Portugal.
Portugal’s Nuno Sousa Guedes missed a last-minute penalty, denying Portugal their first-ever Rugby World Cup victory. The thrilling Pool C match ended in a draw after Georgia scored a 78th-minute try but missed the conversion.
Georgia initially took a commanding 13-0 lead, but Portugal gained control in the second half. They scored 18 unanswered points, setting the stage for a dramatic final two minutes.
However, Portugal’s chances were dashed when replacement scrum-half Pedro Lucas conceded a needless penalty for offside at a ruck. Georgia capitalized, setting up an attacking lineout and driving over for a crucial try, courtesy of hooker Tengiz Zamtaradze.
In the frenetic finish, Luka Matkava missed the potentially winning conversion for Georgia, and Nuno Sousa Guedes couldn’t find the target with his penalty attempt on the final play of the game.
Portugal’s coach, Patrice Lagisquet, commented on the match, saying, “The first half was so poor, with mistakes and lack of discipline. At half-time, we were lucky they led by eight points. We can’t have such a bad half; let’s play your rugby.”
Georgia remains unbeaten against Portugal in 19 games, with four draws in their encounters.
Portugal, with an exciting back three, showcased their potential, but their inability to manage the final minutes and a costly penalty proved costly.
The opening try came early for Georgia when Akaki Tabutsadze crossed the line following a precise pass from Davit Niniashvili. Tedo Abzhandadze added a conversion and two penalties to extend Georgia’s lead.
Portugal fought back, with Raffaele Storti scoring a try. However, a sin-bin penalty for Francisco Fernandes marred their first-half performance. In the second half, Portugal dominated, with Storti adding another try, putting them ahead 18-13.
Georgia staged a comeback in the closing stages, leveling the score through Zamtaradze’s try after Pedro Lucas’s costly penalty.
Georgia’s coach, Levan Maisashvili, acknowledged the game’s challenges, saying, “That’s rugby; it isn’t one half. We played really hard in the first half, but in the second, Portugal dominated everywhere.”