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Review Spain v Portugal Rugby Europe Women's Championship 2024

Spain will head to Netherlands this coming weekend for a big match off the back of a 24-0 bonus point win over Portugal in the Women’s Rugby Europe Championship on Saturday.

It was reigning champions Spain’s first match in this year’s competition and they were pushed all the way by a dogged Portugal side who can be pleased with their return of five points from their three games after joining the expanded four-team event.

Spain have a lot of experience in their ranks though and in the end that told against Portugal with the result putting them second in the table behind Netherlands who have played a game more.

The upcoming match in the National Rugby Center should be a cracker, but that is for another day and first of all Spain had to get past Portugal on home turf.

Spain started the match as favourites and showed that in the seventh minute when a well-worked lineout drive was finished off by hooker Cristina Blanco for the opening try. It was unconverted.

Just before the end of the first quarter, a great counter attack saw Spain score their second try. After a number of players had made yards, stand- off Amalia Argudo’s lovely inside pass put full-back Claudia Pena through a gap and over under the posts.

Argudo’s conversion made it 12-0.

A crucial third try came for Spain just before half-time and it was a real blow for Portugal.

Portugal had generally defended well in the half, but here a simple pop pass from scrum-half Lucia Diaz put loosehead prop María Del Castillo away and through for the score. Argudo’s conversion made it 19-0 at the break.

After that you might have thought Spain would streak away in the second period against tiring opponents, but real credit must go to Portugal who stuck in and showed real battling qualities.

The only points of the second 40 minutes came when, after Argudo had gone close, Diaz was alert to pick up from the base and dive over for try number four. It was unconverted.

That was in the 58th minute and it was 24-0 and that was the way things would finish with Diaz being named player of the match after playing with pace and being a constant thorn in Portugal’s side.

In a fortnight the final match of this competition is played between Sweden and Spain, but all eyes are now on the Netherlands-Spain game on Saturday because that is the big one in terms of the title.


Watch the highlights of the game : 


Gary Heatly

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