USA & Portugal Draw First Blood
On the 6th of November, the contest for the final place at Rugby World Cup France 2023 began. Four nations proceeded to the field of battle with USA taking on Kenya and Portugal taking on Hong Kong. Two rather one-sided affairs took place with USA and Portugal emerging as clear favourites to win the tournament, the former running rough shod over Kenya, romping to a 68-14 victory and Portugal condemning Hong Kong to a heavy 42-14 loss.
This weekend will see the second instalment of action in the desert. Having fielded a starting 15 comprised purely of domestic based MLR players last weekend, USA have made a number of changes for their clash with Hong Kong this week, most notably, Bristol Bears based AJ MacGinty gets the nod at flyhalf and regains his captaincy.
Portugal have also made wholesale changes to their starting 15 for their face off with Kenya with only 6 of players retaining starting spots from last weekend. Are Portugal taking a gamble here as presumably this decision has been taken to rest players ahead of their final game of the tournament with USA in on the 18th of November. Whilst Kenya suffered a heavy defeat last weekend, it was not without moments of Kenyan brilliance. Andrew Siminyu cased the US defence no end of problems and Martin Owilah, who came off the bench last week, was electric on both sides of the ball.
One thing is for sure, we are in for another exciting Saturday of rugby! Want to watch the Final Qualification winner in action? Follow the link below to book your package that will include their game vs Wales in France in 2023.