Pedro Bettencourt lights the touchpaper with a superb Portugal strike in Saint-Ètienne


The opening exchanges in Saint-Étienne saw Portugal strike first against Australia in their Rugby World Cup Pool C clash.

Undeterred by falling behind to a Ben Donaldson penalty, Os Lobos attacked the Wallabies – six places higher in the world rankings – with remorseless vigour in the first ten minutes.

And having nearly crossed on the left, they scored the game’s opening try on the right after a lovely cut-out pass to Pedro Bettencourt.

The outside-centre scorched into the right-hand corner to send the majority of the crowd at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard wild.

Samuel Marques then landed the conversion from the touchline. 7-3 to Portugal. Watch the try here.

But Bettencourt went from hero to villain just a couple of minutes later when making a head-on-head tackle contact that earned him a yellow card – and potential red depending on the verdict from the TMO Bunker.

The card stayed as yellow but by the time Bettencourt returned Australia had scored three converted tries to turn a 7-3 deficit into a handsome 24-7 lead. Forwards Richie Arnold, Dave Perecki and Angus Bell did the damage, Donaldson converting all three, and Portugal had a mountain to climb.

It was to prove beyond them but what an impact they have made at this World Cup.

Related: Australia keep their faint hopes alive

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

Replacements 16 Matt Faessler, 17 Blake Schoupp, 18 Pone Fa’amausili, 19 Rob Leota, 20 Josh Kemeny, 21 Issak Fines-Leleiwasa , 22 Samu Kerevi, 23 Suliasi Vunivalu.

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

Replacements 16 Francisco Fernandes, 17 Duarte Diniz, 18 Francisco Bruno, 19 Steevy Cerqueira, 20 Rafael Simoes, 21 Joao Belo, 22 Joris Moura, 23 Manuel Cardoso Pinto.

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