Australia took on Georgia amidst stormy conditions in Shizuoka.
This happened to be the first time that these two sides had met in Test rugby with the Wallabies having already qualified for the quarterfinals and Georgia fighting to secure third place in Pool D. Furthermore, Australia has emerged victorious in 18 prior WC matches against Tier 2 opposition.
The game kicked off under heavy downpour creating unfavourable conditions for the players.
10 minutes in and neither side had broken the deadlock; the Wallabies were lacking a bit of creativity to open up the Georgian defence which was holding firm.
Australia 27- 8 Georgia: Watch highlights below
23 minutes in however and the Wallabies broke through – the ball was worked out right where Nic White scrambled over the line from close range to score. Matt Toomua added the conversion.
28 minutes in and Australia were penalised for a high tackle on Merab Sharikadze, awarding the Georgians a penalty in the process. Soso Matiashvili added the three points for a score of 7-3.
35 minutes in and Isi Naisarani was sin-binned for a poor tackle leaving Australia with 14 men. A minute later and it was the Aussies who had a penalty from which Toomua scored to push the deficit to seven points as halftime arrived. Georgia had defended resolutely in the opening 40 minutes, putting in 125 tackles compared to Australia’s 23.
The second half soon began and 58 minutes in, Australia’s Rory Arnold was substituted for Rob Simmons who came on to earn his 100th cap for his country. Two minutes later, Australia landed their second try of the game as Marika Koroibete weaved his way through the Georgian defence to score. Toomua grabbed the conversion for a score of 17-3 as the Wallabies relieved some of the pressure.
— OptaJason (@OptaJason) October 11, 2019
But then, 70 minutes into the tie, Georgia made things interesting with a try – Alexander Todua was found by Lasha Khmaladze before crossing the line out left. The subsequent conversion was missed as the scoreline read 17-8
Six minutes later though, the Wallabies put the result beyond doubt with a try as Jack Dempsey touched down after a rolling maul. Then, with seconds left in the game, Will Genia put the final flourishes on a surefire Aussie victory with another try as the final scoreline read 27-8.
5 – Beka Gorgadze won five turnovers against Australia, the most by a @GeorgianRugby player in a @rugbyworldcup match; in fact, only once before has any player won more in a match in the tournament’s history (Fiji’s Koli Rakoroi, 6 v NZ in 1987). Talisman.#RWC2019 #AUSvGEO pic.twitter.com/iRF5dL66u0
— OptaJonny (@OptaJonny) October 11, 2019
And so it finished at Shizuoka with the Wallabies sitting atop Pool D after this result. Georgia meanwhile, sit fourth in the group and had missed the chance to secure automatic qualification for the next World Cup had they won today and finished third.
Australia could not have been happy with this performance in spite of the unsettled and stormy playing conditions; their handling errors didn’t help matters and this game will do little to boost spirits for their massive quarterfinal showdown against England.