If Japan need any more inspiration for Sunday night's Rugby World Cup game with England at Stade de Nice then all they have to do is watch a replay of Saturday's game between Portugal and Wales at the same stadium.

Portugal, one of just four countries Japan have beaten since the last World Cup, may have lost 28-8 but they displayed exactly the type of rugby the Brave Blossoms will need to utilize if they are to upset the 2003 champions.

Quick ruck ball, good offloads and a clever kicking game were at the forefront of the Portuguese attack, while resolute tackling and physicality at the breakdown highlighted their defensive effort. They also stole a couple of line-outs from the Six Nations side at key times.

Wales flanker Jac Morgan (front) carries the ball against Portugal during a Rugby World Cup Pool C match at Stade de Nice in France on Sept. 16, 2023.(Kyodo)

The locals in the crowd certainly enjoyed the effort and player-of-the-match Jac Morgan was also impressed.

"I've got to give full credit to Portugal," said the Wales flanker. "I thought they were brilliant today. They brought that physicality and really tested us a few times in that game. They were very good."

An early try by Wales speedster Louis Rees-Zammit had many in the crowd thinking it would be one-way traffic. But Os Lobos never let up and the explosion of noise that greeted Nicolas Martins as he crossed in the second half in front of the passionate Portuguese fans told its own story.

"That was incredible," the Portugal flanker said. "First time to play in front of 30,000 people, it's something special. We are a small country, we are not a country of rugby, so it's really important for us to show that we can exist at a high level and compete against good teams like Wales, Australia and Georgia."

Full-back Nuno Sousa Guedes' footwork repeatedly bamboozled the Welsh defenders and should be what Semisi Masirewa, Jone Naikabula and Kotaro Matsushima look to emulate against England, while the Brave Blossoms will be in with a chance if they can replicate the passion and tenacity of the Portuguese pack.

"We just need to make the most of every opportunity we create and make sure we are able to deal with the physical power of the English game," Japan assistant coach Tony Brown said earlier Saturday at the team's training base in Monaco. "Hopefully we can play better as a team and put enough pressure on them to create opportunities for us."

That is exactly what Portugal did but they just could not make the most of those opportunities.

"It's something I regret," said Portugal coach Patrice Lagisquet. "It's frustrating. We didn't have enough experienced players. We lacked a bit of clarity on a few actions. When we managed to break through, we didn't manage to finish. We need to be patient."

Japan have the experience that Portugal lacked, and they think they are in the right place to create another upset.

"It's been an awesome preparation week," Brown said. "We are up against a really tough team. But our strength around our team is how we prepare for games. We've had an amazing five or six days and we think we've prepared the boys as well as we can."

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