Portugal’s hopes of going one better than last year and winning the Rugby Europe Men’s Championship 2024 remain alive after they booked their place in the semi-finals with a record 49-24 win against Romania in Bucharest.

Portugal’s bonus-point win saw them finish top of the Pool B standings on 11 points, two more than Romania, who edged out Belgium for the runners-up spot on the head-to-head rule.

Six-time defending champions Georgia will also have home advantage in the semi-finals after they converted a slender 7-3 half-time lead into an emphatic 38-3 win against previously unbeaten Spain in their final Pool A fixture. It left the Lelos way ahead of the field on 14 points with Spain second on nine.

As winners of Pool B, Os Lobos will take on Pool A runners-up Spain in the semi-finals on the weekend of 2-3 March. The other semi-final involves Pool A winners Georgia and Pool B runners-up Romania.

With two sets of rivals up against each other and a place in the final at stake, it should be another brilliant weekend in the Rugby Europe Championship.

Portugal will go into their match one place higher up the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini as the 0.84 points they picked up for the win over the Oaks elevated them above Tonga into 15th place.

Georgia did not receive any reward for their win against Spain and both teams remain unchanged in the rankings, in 13th and 19th, with Romania one place below Los Leones as the lowest-ranked of the semi-finalists.

Belgium’s hopes of qualifying for the main semi-finals were denied by Portugal’s win so although they beat Poland 31-10, the Black Devils had to settle for third place.

The Netherlands, meanwhile, used their powerful maul to beat Germany 39-13 and will also get home advantage in the fifth-place semi-finals.

Belgium will play Germany while the other tie will be contested by the Netherlands and Poland.

The Netherlands moved up a place in the rankings to 28th as a result of their first win of the campaign, gaining 0.61 points. Germany hang on to 32nd place despite an equal number of points lost in exchange.

With just 0.28 points awarded to them for their victory over Poland, Belgium were unable to improve on 26th place. Poland remain in 33rd but are now only two-hundredths of a point better off than Kenya below them.