Typhoon Hagibis is threatening to wreak havoc on the Rugby World Cup but before that arrives, we still have one match for day eighteen. The Wallabies and Georgia wrap up their their pool play from pool D. The Wallabies will continue on as runners up and for Georgia, their World Cup comes to an end with one win to their name so far.
Australia vs Georgia – Pool D
The Wallabies are mixing things up again, rotating their key players around in anticipation of the quarter finals. David Pocock will captain the side in the place of Michael Hooper and we finally get to see what I’ve been claiming as the answer for the Wallabies at fly half, with Matt Toomua getting the start finally. There will be hard work for Georgia in midfield with Samu Kerevi coming back into the twelve jersey. Jordan Petaia starts on the right wing again, giving some slight indication that maybe he will be in the running come quarterfinals if he can stay fit. This should be a run away for Australia, the fitness will be too much alone for Georgia and they will get a nice run into the finals next weekend.
Some may be a little disappointed with the Georgians during this World Cup, expecting this side to continue on its rapid development over the last decade, but that last bridge is the hardest to cross. The biggest let down will be the heavy loss to Fiji, who really hit their straps late in the tournament. Georgia would have wished they had them when Uruguay did instead. A 29 point loss to Wales was rather gritless but they did come to the party well against Uruguay, winning that by 26 points in the end. Into this final game with nothing to lose and still a lot to gain, it’s hard to see the Georgians having much fuel in the tank to put up a good fight. They have brought back most of their key players from throughout the tournament and will be targeting a respectful score at best. The front row has been solid and will feature Mikheil Nariashvili and Beka Gigashvili starting on each side. Gorgodze will get his retirement moment for the second time, starting as the openside flanker with big a big job to do against Pocock. Its youth and experience in the halves with impressive youngster Gela Aprasidze starting at scrum half and 31 year old Lasha Khmaladze at fly half. Merab Sharikadze will captain the side from inside centre and much like Gorgodze, will have a long night on his hands marking up against Samu Kerevi. If Georgia can keep in this match for a while they will be pleased but after a long few weeks pool play, the professional Australians will find things much easier in the second half as I expect Georgia will slide away home. Another team will head home, if the typhoon lets them, and the Wallabies will march on as the pool runners up and into the quarterfinals to face England.
RESULT = Australia by 38
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