Wallabies overcome tough Georgia ahead of World Cup knockouts

  • Wallabies overcome tough Georgia ahead of World Cup knockouts

Wallabies overcome tough Georgia ahead of World Cup knockouts

Australia progressed to the Japan Rugby World Cup quarter-finals in turgid fashion, overcoming minnows Georgia in Pool D at Shizuoka Stadium 27-8.

England will have little to fear from the Wallabies on this evidence, however, as the twice World Cup winners stumbled rather than cantered into the knockout stages.

No more tries were to follow before the break but Australia's problems with the high tackle did return in the 35th minute when number eight Isi Naisarani was sent to the sin bin for an arm into the face of Georgian lock Giorgi Nemsadze.

However, tries inside the final five minutes from Dempsey and Genia made certain of an Australia victory.

Australia's win means Mamuka "Gorgodzilla" Gorgodze heads into retirement without the win over a tier one team he so coveted and captain Merab Sharikadze said they would need to improve in attack if they were to achieve it.

Australia had nearly 80 per cent of possession and 85 per cent of the territory in the first half and led only 10-3 at the break, with scrumhalf Nic White burrowing over for the only try in the 22nd minute and flyhalf Matt Toomua landing the conversion and a penalty goal.

The Georgians repelled wave after wave of attack, notching up nearly 80 tackles in the first 20 minutes.

"Their defence was really solid. Credit to them, through the whole game".

"Now we're in the knockout stages we have to keep building now we're here. So we'll definitely need to put that on and we'll be ready to take the opportunities next week".

"Our first game against Georgia, they certainly delivered in terms of set piece physicality and it was a ideal day for set piece play", Australia captain David Pocock said. With no points scored by either teams in the third quarter, the game was heading for a close finish before Marika Koroibete provided a breathing space for Michael Cheika's men and Toomua's conversion stretched their lead to 17-3. "We did the country proud". "They defended with their hearts, and that's all you can ask for".

But back came Georgia through Todua, who touched down on the left wing after being teed up by Lasha Khmaladze in the 70th minute.

"We wanted to make sure that we represented ourselves pretty well in the last match", said head coach Milton Haig.

Toomua stepped in with a solid display at fly-half, while Genia was lively after coming off the bench as Australia finished strongly after a somewhat disjointed performance - albeit with conditions making handling tough. "But I believe our carrying was strong, we just didn't have the finishing touch on a lot of stuff".