And they came out steaming, with Marcel Garvey grabbing a hat-trick, Rob Thirlby and David Doherty getting a brace while Simon Amor, Andrew Vilk and Charles Amesbury all got their names on the scoresheet as well in a try feast.
Tiago Girao scored Portugal's only try of the afternoon.
England were given a major scare when they were held to a 14-14 draw by Wales in their opening game.
What was supposed to be a good opener for coach Mike Friday's last tournament turned out to be a massive scare for England at Outeniqua Park, who are considered to be one of the major contenders at this tournament.
Rob Thirlby's opener looked to signal a strong performance for England, but some stubborn defence from the Welsh kept the scoreline to one try as the first half ended.
David Doherty extended the lead in the second half,Â scoring a sensational try from way within his own half to take the score to 14-0.
Wales then suddenly found a new lease on life and set about exploiting the gaps in the English defence with two tries - one by James Harris and the other by Tal Salley in the last minute levelling the scores and giving Wales the draw.
In other games New Zealand thrashed Scotland 35-5, Tunisia shocked Australia 21-12 and there were wins for Fiji, Argentina, Samoa and South Africa.