HEIDELBERG – Germany edged a tight battle with Portugal 16-13 over the weekend to set up a home-and-away play-off with Samoa to determine the side that will join Ireland, Scotland, hosts Japan and Russia in Pool A at Rugby World Cup 2019.
A perfect kicking display from Raynor Parkinson handed Germany a narrow 16-13 victory over Portugal in Heidelberg and means the hosts are just 160 minutes away from a place at Rugby World Cup 2019.
Parkinson landed four shots at goal from as many attempts, including a late penalty that gave Germany – who had trailed by 10 points early in the second half – the decisive lead, despite appearing to battle cramp.
Number eight Jarrid Els scored Germany's only try as a crowd of 2,300 were made to sweat for victory on a sweltering June day.
Portugal back-row Sebastiao Villax scored his side’s sole try, while flyhalf Louis Rodrigues added eight points with the boot as it looked as though visiting second row Goncalo Uva would celebrate his 100th cap in style.
But Germany were able to rally as Rodrigues’s three missed penalties proved crucial. The hosts' reward is a home-and-away play-off with Samoa, starting in Apia on June 30, for a place in Pool A.
Portugal will feel they had chances to close out the match, a scenario their hosts know only too well. In 2014, Russia scored two tries in the final 10 minutes to deny Germany at this stage.
Congratulations to #Germany winners of the last @rugbyworldcup #RWC2019 European qualifier defeating #Portugal 16-13 in Heidelberg. #Germany will play #samoa on the #RoadtoJapan 2019! 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/ETzLwhTihv— Rugby Europe (@rugby_europe) June 16, 2018
African News Agency (ANA)