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USA and Portugal prepare for the playoff for the last place in the Rugby World Cup | rugby world cup

The US set up a winner-takes-all encounter with Portugal next week, the prize being a place at the Rugby World Cup in France next year, by beating Hong Kong 49-7 in Dubai on Saturday. In the other game of the day, the Portuguese defeated Kenya 85-0.

The Eagles, who beat Kenya 68-14 last week, and The Wolves, who beat Hong Kong 42-14, earned extra points by beating lower-ranked opponents. The Portuguese are slightly ahead on points difference and tries scored (19-17).

The United States only failed to qualify for a World Cup, in South Africa in 1995. Portugal reached the final once, in France in 2007.

The winner of Friday’s game will take the last available place in next year’s final, in Group C with Australia, Wales, Fiji and Georgia.

In Dubai on Saturday, a US team drawn mostly from Major League Rugby, but with some players employed by top clubs in the English and French leagues, led 28-0 at halftime. The attempts came from Old Glory DC No8 Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz, Saracens hooker Kapeli Pifileti, San Diego Legion winger Nate Augspurger and NOLA Gold second row Cam Dolan.

Full back Mitch Wilson of the New England Free Jacks scored the first try after the break. augspurger marked a second before Tesimoni Tonga’uiha, of NOLA and henceforth as a replacement for the back, scored the last try. Matthew Worley scored a try for Hong Kong.

Portugal wandered through kenya, scoring 13 tries as the Simbas sent off striker Brian Juma for a second yellow card in the first half. That result will ensure the Eagles, who were upset at home by Chile in their previous qualifier, take nothing for granted ahead of what has become a sudden-death playoff, which kicks off at 10:30 a.m. ET. from the USA, next Friday, November 18.

Gary Gold, the USA head coach who was previously with the London Irish and Newcastle and the South African coaching staff, is now working with experienced assistants, including former Argentine coach and hooker Mario Ledesma and former All Blacks assistant John Plumtree.

Before the Hong Kong game, Gold said: “We still have quite a bit of work to do before we can be sure. However, the coaches, the team and I are satisfied with our position as a group, both on and off the pitch.”

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