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Sunday Oct 8, 2023

Wild scenes in Toulouse as Portugal seal last gasp comeback win over Fiji

Two of Rugby World Cup 2023 feel-good stories collided today as Fiji and Portugal met in Toulouse for the final pool match of the tournament.

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Coming into the fixture, Fiji knew that just a single match point would see them through to the quarterfinals.

Portugal, on the other hand, were in search of what would be a first-ever Rugby World Cup victory, having come up agonisingly short against Georgia in an 18-all draw in round three.

In what was a seesaw affair, Portugal appeared to be on course for further heartache.

Having taken a commanding lead, Portugal struggled to manage proceedings as Fiji came right back into the picture, taking a six-point lead with four minutes to play.

Despite seemingly being down and out, Portugal never gave up the fight.

Potent Finishers

Launching one final attack, the Portuguese wingers exposed the Fijian down the right-hand touchline.

As star of the tournament, Raffaele Storti broke through the Fijian defence; his teammate Rodrigo Marta was on his shoulder.

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Storti then completed a well-timed pass, and Marta sprinted towards the post in a bid to make the conversion easier.

With the two youngsters having done their work, all of the pressure was on 34-year-old scrumhalf Samuel Marques to land the kick.

Lining up initially near the touchline, Marques was given the all-clear by referee Luke Pearce signalled the kicker to be closer to the posts.

The rest, as they say, is history as Marques slotted the points and, with it sealed a famous victory.

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Fiji, on the other hand, will be furious that they let a golden opportunity to secure another win slip.

Nevertheless, the Pacific Island team will progress to the quarterfinals, where they will face an England team who, too, are not in the best shape.

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