Portuguese minnows hope to give All Blacks a shock


Sat, Sep 15, 2007 - Page 19

World Cup debutants Portugal have vowed that they are not simply turning up at Lyon today to be served up as easy pickings for the mighty All Blacks.

Indeed, some on the ``Wolves'' roster have threatened to provide the greatest upset in the history of the World Cup by beating the Kiwis.

"Everyone is asking what is going to happen to us on Saturday but we have not come here for the tourism," prop Andre Silva said.

"We are not going out onto the pitch simply to stare at them or to have a barbecue but to win," added a pokerfaced Silva, who will surely for the first and last time in his career come up against 115kg opposite number Greg Somerville.

"After that we know we are going to face an onslaught from the All Blacks and that they will simply walk over us," he said. "But first they will have to walk over our dead bodies and watch out for the Portuguese tackling!" added the Paris-born prop, who only last week had said that the All Blacks would have to do the 110m hurdles if they were to score tries.

Even the messages posted on a board at the players hotel indicate a calmness ahead of what could prove to be a record defeat in the tournament's history.

"It's a run of the mill game," "15 against 15," "Respect them but don't be afraid" and "focus on the job in hand."

However lock David Penalva, one of only three professionals in the squad, who plays for second division French side Blagnac, admitted they had to approach the match in professional fashion.

"We are not afraid of this match," he said.

"On the contrary we have to be defiant. Because if we don't get down to business straight away when the referee blows the whistle we will get stuffed with us receiving 120kg of New Zealander in our faces."