Rugby Union: Welsh smash way into record books: Portugal concede a century of points in World Cup qualifier

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Portugal. .11 Wales . . 102

THE pre-match press room sweep gave an indication of the carnage that was expected and the predictions of a century of points finally came true in spite of a 20-minute scoring lapse in the first half.

In paying their penance for failing to qualify for the 1991 World Cup quarter-finals, Wales made a mockery of having to play such low-level competition to gain a ticket to next year's finals in South Africa.

The statisticians had been thumbing record books all week in preparation for the game at the University of Lisbon sports stadium and it was as well they did. Wales rewrote their own record book and also improved a number of World Cup bests in the process.

Here we go. The 102 points almost doubled Wales's previous high of 55 against Japan in October and their 16 tries comfortably eclipsed the 11 scored against France in 1909.

Neil Jenkins' 11 conversions beat the previous Welsh best of eight in 1910 by Jack Bancroft, and the 102 points overtook the 74 scored by New Zealand and Western Samoa in previous World Cup games.

Nigel Walker ran in four tries for a share of the Welsh record in a match and one more score would have allowed him to overtake Jenkins's all-time high of 24 points in a game, one of the few marks to survive.

It took just 1min 28sec for Wales to open their account with Scott Quinnell's try and they rattled up 36 points in the opening 20 minutes.

The Portuguese at least gritted their teeth for 20 minutes, managing a penalty from Maria Vilar Gomes and a try by Pedro Murinello.

The points were not part of the script, but Robert Jones's first try in seven years for Wales put the minnows back in their place before the break.

Portugal: Try Murinello; Penalties Vilar Gomes 2. Wales: Tries Walker 4, I Evans 3, Hall 3, Jones 2, Quinnell, Llewellyn, Taylor, penalty try; Conversions N Jenkins 11.

WALES: M Rayer (Cardiff); I Evans (Llanelli, capt), M Hall (Cardiff), N Davies (Llanelli), N Walker (Cardiff); N Jenkins (Pontypridd), R Jones (Swansea); R Evans (Llanelli), G Jenkins (Swansea), J Davies (Neath), A Copsey (Llanelli), G Llewellyn (Neath), H Taylor (Cardiff), S Quinnell (Llanelli), E Lewis (Llanelli).

PORTUGAL: M Vilar-Gomes; P Murinello, R Pereira, N Mourao, T Morais; J Queimado (capt), P Netto Fernandes; S Ferreira, M Batista, P Domingos, A Pecas, A Andrade, P Arsenio, J Pieres, P Eusebio. Replacements: A Cunha (for Pires, 53), E Macedo (for Ferreira, 73).

Referee: B Leask (Australia).