Rugby World Cup 2023 – Portugal secures a historic draw against Georgia, in a crazy final

Portugal and Georgia parted ways in a spectacular draw (18-18). Nuno Guedes had the match point on the siren but his penalty went to the left of the posts.

The Georgians and the Portuguese separate in a draw (18-18) which will make both teams regret this Saturday for the second day of Group C in Toulouse. Each team had its half-time, its period to score, but a Georgian try at the last minute allowed them to snatch a draw against the valiant Portuguese. But strangely, both teams can come away disappointed not to have won this meeting.

No time to lose for Georgia, who opened the scoring in the second minute of play. They recovered a ball from an opposing forward, before setting fire to the defense through their three-quarters. Niniashvili crossed the defensive curtain before finding himself in a 2 against 1, and serving Tabutsadze to go for the try (7-0, 3rd). The Lelos added a penalty (10-0, 17th), and even thought of a try from Aprasidze (19th), but the latter took the ball with a forward. A blow to the Portuguese public, who came in large numbers to the Stadium.

Dominant, Georgia does not kill the match

The Georgians marched on the match and we saw very little of the playful and valiant Portugal from last week against Wales. We had to wait for a new Georgian penalty (13-0, 33rd) to see them wake up, in an action constructed by three-quarter play from their camp. Costa Storti started on the right wing before catching everyone and finding a gap. His speed took everyone by surprise and Niniashvili could only push the Biterrois back into a corner (13-5, 34th). The Lusitanians had one last scare with a booking for prop Fernandes, guilty of a shoulder charge. The bunker did not increase the penalty, and the score remained unchanged at the break.

The Portuguese believed in it until the end

More aggressive and more successful, Os Lobos took the second half into their own hands. Samuel Marques collected the points to bring his team within range (48th, 53rd, 13-11). And even ahead in the score. Portela attracted two defenders to pass after contact with Costa Storti. The winger overtook everyone to score a double (13-18, 58th). A great story for him who owed his tenure to Pinto’s red card last week. Georgia was underwater, and could no longer reach the opposing camp. The only offensive could have gone to the end, but Jalagonia, on a penalty played with the hand, could not manage to flatten in the goal (61st). The Lusitanians insisted, without scoring. We then thought we would see them achieve their first victory in seven World Cup matches.

But the Lelos have regained their discipline, and the game from behind. Moving up the field little by little, they obtained a penalty after an error by Lucas, a disastrous entry by the Portuguese replacement scrum-half. Penaltouche five meters away, and the maul was formed with the support of several backs, before collapsing in the in-goal. The video gave its verdict: try by Zamtaradze, the incoming hooker (18-18, 79th). Luka Matkava had the transformation to go in front, but missed the poles! Portugal had the last chance dismissal onside, and obtained a penalty for the unexpected victory. But Guedes in turn missed his first kick of the match! Infuriating for the Portuguese, who obtained a historic result, but with a hint of disappointment given the scenario. The first victory will wait, but at least neither team will finish the competition with four defeats. Quite unusual, in 21 meetings between the two teams, 3 ended in a draw (14%). Next match Saturday for Georgia against Fiji, the day before Australia-Portugal.

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