Cheika’s side labour to give Eng­land heart for quar­ters

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Total Rugby -

Aus­tralia 27 Ge­or­gia 8 Att: 39,802

Aus­tralia were a long way off their best, but man­aged to over­come Ge­or­gia in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions in Fukuroi to book a likely quar­ter­fi­nal against Eng­land.

Ty­phoon Hag­ibis ap­proach­ing Ja­pan led to heavy wind and rain bat­ter­ing the Shizuoka Sta­dium Ecopa, where Aus­tralia went ahead with Nic White’s 22nd-minute try.

It was not un­til af­ter the hour that they scored an­other, through Marika Koroi­bete. Jack Dempsey

and Will Ge­nia tries gave Aus­tralia a bonus-point win af­ter Alexander To­dua touched down for Ge­or­gia.

Aus­tralia there­fore moved to the top of Pool D, but Wales will leapfrog them if they avoid de­feat by Uruguay to­mor­row, which would see the Wal­la­bies take on Pool C win­ners Eng­land in Oita next Satur­day. If that is in­deed how events un­fold, then Eng­land head coach Ed­die Jones would have taken heart from Aus­tralia’s laboured dis­play.

Michael Cheika, the Aus­tralia coach, said: “I wanted the for­wards to get a good hard hit out. We know it will be a big con­test next week in the for­wards, so those parts of the game were im­por­tant. Now we’re in the knock­out stages we have to keep build­ing now we’re here. I

think we’re get­ting a plat­form, but we need to be sharper in at­tack.”

They lost Kurt­ley Beale inside 15 min­utes, with the full-back not re­turn­ing to the field fol­low­ing a head in­jury as­sess­ment.

Aus­tralia rou­tinely made er­rors in Ge­or­gia’s 22 be­fore the pres­sure even­tu­ally told, White bur­row­ing over from close range. Aus­tralia have been crit­i­cised for their in­dis­ci­pline and it sur­faced again, Tolu Latu’s high tackle award­ing Ge­or­gia a penalty, with Soso Ma­ti­ashvili split­ting the posts.

Isi Nais­arani, the No8, was shown a yel­low card five min­utes be­fore the in­ter­val af­ter ap­pear­ing to make con­tact with the face of Giorgi Nem­sadze with a lead­ing arm. De­spite be­ing down to 14 men, Matt Toomua slot­ted home a penalty to give Aus­tralia a 10-3 half-time lead.

Wing Koroi­bete burst for­ward from half­way and skipped past two de­fend­ers to give Aus­tralia breath­ing room. But back came Ge­or­gia through To­dua, who touched down on the left wing af­ter be­ing teed up by Lasha Kh­mal­adze. How­ever, tries in the fi­nal five min­utes from Dempsey and Ge­nia made cer­tain of an Aus­tralia vic­tory.

Aus­tralia Beale (Haylett-petty 13); Pe­taia (Leali­ifano 57), O’con­nor, Kerevi, Koroi­bete; Toomua, White (Ge­nia 50); Sio (Slip­per 57), Latu (Ue­lese 65), Kepu (Tupou 45), Rodda, Arnold, Dempsey, Po­cock (Salakaia-loto 60), Nais­arani. Sin bin Nais­arani.

Ge­or­gia Ma­ti­ashvili; Kvese­ladze, Kachar­ava (Mchedlidze 57), Sharikadze (Malagu­radze 71), To­dua; Kh­mal­adze, Aprasidze (Lobzhanidz­e 50); Nari­ashvili (Gogichashv­ili 50), Ma­mukashvili (Breg­vadze 50), Gi­gashvili (Me­likidze 50), Nem­sadze (Gior­gadze 34), Mikau­tadze, Saghi­nadze (Tkhi­laishvili 57), Gor­godze, Gor­gadze.

Ref­eree Pas­cal Gauzere (France).

Try­ing con­di­tions: Wing Marika Koroi­bete runs in Aus­tralia’s sec­ond

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