Australia Wins Despite Strong Georgia Defense

Australia defeated Georgia 27-8 in the final pool match for both teams on Friday 11 October in Shizuoka. The Wallabies led 10-3 at the break. The attendance for the match was 39,802.

The Wallabies opened the RWC with a 39-21 win over Fiji, lost to Wales 29-25, and beat Uruguay 45-10.

Georgia lost to Wales 43-14, beat Uruguay 33-7, and lost to Fiji  45-10.

In the first two rounds, and then Uruguay beat Fiji 30-27and then lost to Georgia 33-7. In the Pool’s first third-round match, Fiji defeated Georgia 45-10.

With the Wallabies win over Georgia, Fiji claimed third place and qualified for the 2023 Rugby World Cup

Pool D standings have Australia topping the pool with 16 points, Wales with 14 points, Fiji 7, Georgia 5, and Uruguay 4. Wales play Uruguay on Sunday and can win Pool D with a win. That would give them a quarterfinal match against France, while Australia would face England.

Match Recap

Australia dominated early possession and territory as they would for the match. The Georgian defesne was stellar and created turnovers from crunching tackles.

Wallabies fullback Kurtley Beale left the match for a HIA with Dane Haylett-Petty entering and playing the rest of the match.

Australia had the first scoring opportunity going through 11 phases before a turnover gave Georgia a 5-meter scrum. A Wallabies penalty led to a Lelos clearing kick.

Australia went through multiple phases with scrum-half Nic White scoring a try in the 22nd minute and Matt To’omua adding the extras for a 7-0 lead.

Six minutes later, a Tolu Latu high tackle was punished with Soso Matiashvile penalty goal to cut the lead to 7-3.

Wallabies No.8 Isi Naisarani was sent to the bin in the 35th minute as his arm came across a Georgian player’s head. Georgia kicked for territory, but a Wallabies lineout steal and a subsequent Lelos penalty had Matt To’omua slotting a penalty goal for a 10-3 lead at the break.

Second Half

During the second half there was a head collision by Georgian wing Alexander Todua and scrum-half Gela Aprasidze, with Aprasidze being stretchered off the pitch.There was also a high tackle on Dane Hawlett-Petty, which resulted in the Wallaibies kicking for territory. A handling error by Jack Demsey inside Georgia’s 22-meters allowed the Lelos to clear.

Soon after, a Wallabies penalty for not rolling away at the breakdown had Georgia attacking from a lineout inside Australia’s 22-meters, but a knock on after a maul thwarted their acoring attempt.

In the 60th minute, Marika Koroibete gathered a loose ball at midfield and stepped and sliced through defenders for a highlight video try. To’omua slotted the conversion to push the lead to 17-3.

A Georgia attack from a lineout, had the ball moving left with Alexander Todua taking an offload in for a try to cut the lead to 17-8, as Matiashivili’s kick was wide.

Australia answered back with a  Jack Demsey try folowing a maul for a 22-8 lead. They then added another with Will Genia taking an offload by Taniela Tupou for a try for a final of 27-8.

With the win, Australia tops Pool D with 16 points, with Wales playing Uruguay on Sunday. Wales has 14 points and is favored to win. That would set up quarterfinal matches with Wales playing France and Australia facing England.

During the match, the Walalbies controlled 80% of the terriorty and had 76% of the possession. The Wallaibies had numerous handling errors and a number of penalties. Georgia set a Rugby World Cup record with 218 tackles. The Lelos had problems in the lineouts winning 6 of 11. When they did have attacking opportunites, a lineout loss turned the ball back to the Wallables.

Player of the Match honors went to Australia’s Izack Rodda. He had 3 lineout steals, created a turnover, and had 4 tackles.

Georgia back row Mamuka Gordodze exited playing international rugby and will be missed. His test statistics are depicted below.

Photo: Rugby World Cup – Mamuka Gorgodze

Squads & Match Preview

Australia: 1. Scott Sio 2. Tolu Latu 3. Sekope Kepu 4. Izack Rodda 5. Rory Arnold 6. Jack Dempsey 7. David Pocock (c) 8. Isi Naisarani 9. Nic White 10. Matt To’omua 11. Marika Koroibete 12. Samu Kerevi (vc) 13. James O’Connor 14. Jordan Petaia 15. Kurtley Beale 16. Jordan Uelese 17. James Slipper 18. Taniela Tupou 19. Adam Coleman 20. Michael Hooper 21. Will Genia 22. Christian Lealiifano 23. Dane Haylett-Petty

Georgia: 1. Mikheil Nariashvili 2. Shalva Mamukashvili 3. Beka Gigashvili 4. Giorgi Nemsadze 5. Konstantine Mikautadze 6. Beka Saginadze 7. Mamuka Gorgodze 8. Beka Gorgadze 9. Gela Aprasidze 10. Lasha Khmaladze 11. Alexander Todua 12. Merab Sharikadze (capt.) 13. David Kacharava 14. Giorgi Kveseladze 15. Soso Matiashvili 16. Jaba Bregvadze 17. Guram Gogichashvili 18. Giorgi Melikidze 19. Otari Giorgadze 20. Giorgi Tkhilaishvili 21. Vasil Lobzhanidze 22. Lasha Malaguradze 23. Tamaz Mchedlidze

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