US, Portugal win in last qualifiers for 2023 Rugby World Cup

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United States and Portugal have the inside running on qualifying for the 2023 Rugby World Cup after bonus-point wins in the last qualifying tournament on Sunday.

The U.S. beat Kenya 68-14 and Portugal defeated Hong Kong 42-14 at the Sevens Stadium in the first round-robin games.

The Americans have missed only one World Cup and showed their intent with try hat tricks for hooker Dylan Fawsitt and winger Christian Dyer.

The Eagles scored 10 tries in all in their highest score outside of the Americas.

Hong Kong scored first against Portugal from a rolling maul. But Portugal quickly found gaps to post three converted tries in the half to lock Jose Madeira, wing Raffaele Storti and Miguel Morais.

Even with a man sin-binned, Portugal was unrelenting, with tries in the second half for Rodrigo Marta, Storti again, and Jose Lima.

Hong Kong's Jack Neville barged across for a consolation try, but Portugal was a step closer to qualifying for a first Rugby World Cup since 2007.

The winner of the tournament will claim the 20th and last berth in the World Cup in France.

In the next round on Saturday, Portugal plays Kenya and the U.S. faces Hong Kong.


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