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Review - Captain Correia leads the way as Portugal secure famous win

Portugal made history on Saturday with their first ever women’s Rugby Championship win.

Before the weekend they were 27 in the world rankings with Sweden in 20th, but it was the home side at the CAR Jamor sports complex in Lisbon who took the game to their opponents and came out on top 27-0 with a bonus point.

Portugal took the lead in the 24th minute when a great scrum near the Swedish line pushed the visitors over the line and ten one of the forwards pounced to score a try. Captain Daniela Correia, the full-back, converted and it was 7-0.

As the rain started to fall very heavily, Portugal’s second try came four minutes before the break.

They showed great patience going through the phases and, after tighthead prop Beatriz Rodrigues had gone close, the ball was spun wide and centre Mariana Marques, who also scored in their previous game versus Netherlands, went over.

It was unconverted and it was 12-0.

The score stayed that way until half-time despite some good Swedish pressure as, bizarrely, the sun came out and a rainbow was in the sky.

A penalty from Correia made it 15-0 in the 44th minute and, six minutes later, the skipper set up winger Mariana Santos for a try in the corner. Correia converted from the touchline - the ball hitting the crossbar then going over - and it was 22-0.

In the 55th minute Santos then popped up on the other wing to finish off a cracking team unconverted try.

Credit to Sweden, at 27-0 down with 25 minutes to go they could have crumbled, but there was no more scoring.

Portugal were more than worthy winners though and they celebrated at the end with Correia named the player of the match.

The competition’s next game is on March 30 when reigning champions Spain host Portugal.

Netherlands are currently top of the table with 10 points from a possible 10.

Meanwhile, earlier on Saturday there was a men’s Rugby Europe Trophy match in the Marketa Stadium in Prague between Czechia and Switzerland.

This really was a cracking game with 66 points scored, the visitors Switzerland coming out on top 41-25 in the end to make it three wins from three in the 2023/24 competition.

The Swiss sit top of the six-team standings and the next match in this event is fourth placed Croatia against fifth placed Lithuania on May 16.

By Gary Heatly 
Photos (Czechia v Switzerland) Martin Flousek, (Portugal v Sweden) 

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