After a comprehensive 51-0 win against Czechia, Portugal are only one point of a guaranteed European Trophy win at their first attempt, and promotion to the Championship.. In the day's second game, Germany beat Belgum 14-10.
Czechia began the day in second place in the Trophy standings, but the twice winners of the tournament were always on the back foot against their Portuguese hosts
It took just seven minutes for Portugal to get on the board after a series of penalties culminated in an offence right in front of the posts- easily converted by Ines Barbosa.
Czechia defended well, but the penalty count continued to mount allowing Portugal to retain the initiative, and eventually leading to a try for Ines Spinola, finishing off in the corner from a move that began with a penalty. 8-0 after 23 minutes.
Czechia put together a good period of pressure from the restart, but Portugal’s speed and better handling frustrated their attempts. Then, on 29 minutes, a dummy from a ruck by by Portugal’s scrumhalf Leonor Amaral saw her cut through the Czech line and run 60m to score. 15-0.
While the Czechs made little ground when in possession, Portugal were making yards with every carry, and on 34 minutes a period of continual Portuguese phases ended with a well taken break and try from Ana Freire. 20-0, and that was the score at halftime.
The second half was a continuation of the first. On 47 minutes a series of phases on the right Czech line resulted in a large overlap on the left, which Isabel Ozorio took full advantage of. 27-0.
Matilde Goes proved to be unstoppable in theh hour, breaking through the attempts of half a dozen Czech players to score. 34-0.
With a tiring defence, Portugal took full advantage in the final minutes. Goes showed her speed on 71 minutes, sprinting down the wing for her second try. 39-0.
Quick hands on 77 minutes created a huge two player overlap, Daniela Correia scoring. 46-0.
And finally, from almost the final play of the game, Portugal turned over the Czechs inside their own half, raced away and set up a try in the corner for Ana Santos. 51-0.
PORTUGAL:1 Elsa Santos; 2 Ines Marques; 3 Marta Magalhaes; 4 Ana Freire; 5 Laura Pereira; 6 Maria Teixeira; 7 Arlete Goncalves; 8 Sara Moreira; 9 Leonor Amaral; 10 Isabel Ozorio; 11 Matilde Goes; 12 Catia Joao; 13 Maria Costa; 14 Ines Spinola; 15 Daniela Correia (Cap)
16 Sara Fernandes; 17 Beatriz Rodrigues; 18 Neuza Reis; 19 Teresa Pereira; 20 Raquel Costa; 21 Ana Santos; 22 Beatriz Oliveira; 23 Ines Barbosa
CZECHIA: 3 Gabriela Spackova; 2 Aneta Smejdova; 1 Alzbeta Susova; 5 Alice Matejckova; 4 Bohuslava Hostinska; 7 Dominika Holcikova; 6 Viktorie Lancova; 8 Kristyna Plevova; 9 Kristyna Jungerova; 10 Pavla Zahradkova; 11 Pavlina Cuprova; 12 Katerina Novakova (Cap); 13 Vera Gartnerova; 14 Zuzana Mala; 15 Petra Vackova
18 Natalie Kollmanova; 16 Dominika Havelkova; 22 Anezka Skalova; 17 Katerina Novakova; 19 Hana Hubincova; 20 Sarka Kyselova; 21 Anezka Hruba; 23 Michaela Kovarova
In the day’s second game, Germany travelled to Brussels to take on Belgium in a game that brough ,
The two teams first met in 2001, but despite being neighbouring nations, this was only their sixth meeting and only the third since 2010. Most results had been very close but, apart from a draw in 2010, all of previous results had gone Germany’s way.
This game followed the same pattern. A small, but loud and enthusiastic, crowd witnessed a terrific battle that could have gone either way.
Belgium had the better of the opening exchanges, their pack very much on top, and it was the Belgians who opened the scoring through veteran Ciska De Grave ending a move that started from a solid lineout, breaking through several tackles to score near the corner. The difficult kick was missed, which was to prove crucial later. 5-0 to Belgium.
Germany soon recovered from this shaky start and for much of the next 10 minutes put Belgium under pressure, which eventually won its reward when the forwards combined to crash over under the posts. With the kick, Germany now lead 7-5.
Now it was Belgium’s turn to fight back, and it was outpacing the German defence to score in the corner. And again it the conversion kick proved too difficult, but after 32 minutes Belgium lead 10-7.
The lead lasted until just before the break, when Johanna Hacker spotted a gap and sidestepped through the Belgian line to score, again under the posts. The whistle went for halftime and Germany went in 14-10 ahead.
The second half was full of tension and incident, with Belgium generally on top, their forwards clearly the stronger, but unable to break down the German defence. Darkness fell, the crowd roared them on, but a further score proved elusive – and Germany were 14-10 winners.
BELGIUM: 1 Hanna Dessein; 2 Jade Cloof; 3 Loise Danguy; 4 Amelie Delacourt; 5 Celine Zaman; 6 Lorisse Ranger; 7 Jade Carananos; 8 Helene Simon (Cap);9 Jeanne Marquegnies; 10 Caitlynn Cool; 11 Ysaline Amond; 12 Cristina Pecoraro; 13 Ciska De GraveE;14 Romanie Yserbyt; 15 Charlotte Timperman
16 Lena Guisoland; 17 Madeline Loeckx; 18 An-Marthe Ingelaere; 19 Marie Rutsaert; 20 Elodie Musch; 21 Celine Minon; 22 Chanel Germiat; 23 Claire Andries
GERMANY: 1 Pia Erhart; 2 Joy Weatherspoon; 3 Mareike Bier (Cap);4 Luise Lauter; 5 Salome Trauth; 6 Ronja Stauch; 7 Muriel Weigel; 8 Melissa Paul; 9 Clara Tauschek; 10 Lara Burger; 11 Maike Drewenskus; 12 Anja Fischer; 13 Johanna Hacker; 14 Steffi Gruber; 15 Laura Schwinn
16 Tina Schucker; 17 Michelle Henninger; 18 Emma Dehnert; 19 Vivian Gresser; 20 Esther Tilgner; 21 Vivian Bahlmann; 22 Annika Nowotny; 23 Sophie Hacker;