Romania look for forward advantage
TOULOUSE, 24 September – Romania will look to use their forward strength to dominate Portugal in their Pool C match in Toulouse on Tuesday.
Romania entered the tournament aiming to win two matches but Portugal represent their last real chance of victory, with their final match against the All Blacks on Saturday.
Daniel Santamans has made nine changes to the squad that lost to Scotland, including naming number 8 Ovidiu Tonita captain and leaving regular leader Sorin Socol on the bench.
Romania manager Robert Antonin said they were determined to defeat Portugal, who had improved a lot.
"We scored one bonus point against Italy. I regret the defeat against Italy. Scotland was normal. So now we want to defeat Portugal and I think it will be very difficult but we want one more bonus point.
"Romania have stronger forwards and Portugal have stronger backs."
Portugal, meanwhile, have suffered an injury setback, losing captain Vasco Uva to a broken hand. It will also be retiring prop Joaquim Ferreira's last match for the Lobos.
Portugal coach Tomaz Morais said Romania were a strong opponent.
"We have played them many times throughout the year. They offer a very physical game with their forwards, almost all of whom play in major clubs in Europe.
"We have to be very cold and determined to confront every play. We have to be alert and very concentrated and not give away silly penalties."
Morais said his side had a few surprises up their sleeves.
"We have been preparing a lot for this match, and we are going to show some new weapons. We have to throw ourselves into attacking and not be so far behind.
"I think that if we show the attacking that we had
against Scotland, the defence that we had against Italy and the courage
that we showed in the first few minutes against New Zealand, then we
will surely win."
The two teams last met in 2006, Romania winning 27-3. They have played 12 times, with Portugal winning only the one match.