Romania recover to beat Portugal
TOULOUSE, 25 September - Romania came from behind to beat Portugal 14-10 and record their first victory of the IRB Rugby World Cup at Le Stade in Toulouse on Tuesday.
Portugal led 7-0 at half time and seemed on course for a victory in their first ever RWC, but two second half tries from Romania saw them come from behind to ensure they do not finish bottom of Pool C.
The sides tested each other in the opening quarter with the play switching from end to end, neither threatening to open the scoring in a match both had targeted before the tournament as a winnable encounter.
That was until a Romanian line-out was overthrown five metres from their own tryline in the 18th minute with João Uva the surprise recipient. He was brought down just short, but hooker and captain for the night Joaquim Ferreira picked up and drove over for the try.
Romania full back Iulian Dumitras missed with an attempted drop goal four minutes later as a number of errors meant his side failed to score in the first half for the third match in a row at RWC 2007.
Fly half Duarte Cardoso Pinto, who had converted Ferreira's try, missed the chance to extend Portugal's lead just before half time when his drop goal was short and to the right of the posts.
The second half began much like the first as the rain began to fall in Toulouse making conditions difficult, although Romania began to enjoy a prolonged period of pressure in the Portugal 22 as the hour mark approached and thought they had scored through replacement Sorin Socol.
Referee Paul Honiss initially motioned as if to give the try, but then elected to defer to the television match official Kelvin Deaker and the replays clearly showed that the ball had been lost by Socol before he could ground it over the line and Portugal's lead remained intact.
Romania made no mistakes in the 63rd minute when they won a line-out and their forwards drove towards the Portuguese line, replacement prop Marius Tincu touching down to end his side's 149-minute run without scoring a point at RWC 2007.
Portugal edged back in front with a penalty by replacement fly half Gonçalo Malheiro, but Romania had the final say with a try for flanker Florin Corodeanu eight minutes from time, with scrum half Valentin Calafeteanu's conversion leaving their opponents needing a try to win.