Winger Marika Koroibete crosses for the Wallabies’ second try against Georgia. (AP: Christophe Ena)
The Wallabies will enter the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals on the back of a lacklustre display in their 27-8 win over Georgia in their last pool match in Shizuoka.
- The Wallabies scored four tries to one in their first Test against Georgia
- Wallabies number eight Isi Naisarani was given a yellow card in the first half following a high tackle
- The Wallabies are almost certain to finish second in their pool and play England in the quarter-finals
Amid wet and windy conditions with Typhoon Hagibis set to hit Japan this weekend, poor ball control and a lack of discipline marred the Wallabies’ performance in their historic first Test against Georgia.
And despite securing a bonus point courtesy of scoring four tries, it was hardly a display that would worry Eddie Jones and his England squad, who the Wallabies are almost certain to face in the quarter-finals on Saturday week in Oita.
The Wallabies provisionally moved to the top of Pool D as a result of the win with three victories from four matches, but they are expected to finish second to the undefeated Wales, who is heavily favoured to beat Uruguay in Kumamoto on Sunday.
A concern for the Wallabies ahead of the quarter-finals will be the condition of full-back Kurtley Beale, who sustained a head knock and left the field during the first half for an HIA, which he subsequently failed.
The Wallabies, who enjoyed 80 per cent of territory throughout the match, had only led 10-3 at half-time against Georgia.
But they appeared to have given themselves some breathing space when winger Marika Koroibete scored a brilliant individual try midway through the second term, which was converted by Matt Toomua.
Georgia refused to lie down, however, and it replied with a try to winger Alexander Todua to make the score 17-8, before the Wallabies crossed for two late five-pointers via Jack Dempsey and Will Genia to blow out the margin.
Half-back Nic White had scored the Wallabies’ opening try in the 22nd minute of the first half.
Wallabies number eight Isi Naisarani looks to break the Georgian defensive line. (AP: Christophe Ena)
Ill discipline in defence reared its head again for the Wallabies, with number eight Isi Naisarani given a yellow card late in the first half after making contact with the head of a Georgian opponent with a lazy tackle.
Another worry for coach Michael Cheika was the amount of ball the Wallabies turned over — despite having 76 per cent of possession — especially in contact.
The Wallabies are still no closer to nailing down a halves pairing that will inspire confidence, with White and Toomua struggling to find fluency as a combination.
There were positives for the Wallabies, however, with David Pocock playing his best match of the tournament.
Pocock, captaining the Wallabies in the absence of regular skipper Michael Hooper, was an almighty presence on the defensive side of the ball and he drew two penalties through his pressure at the breakdown.
Boom teenager Jordan Petaia made his second Test appearance and was given more time on the field following his stand-out debut against Uruguay last weekend.
But attacking opportunities were few and far between for the Wallabies winger, although he appeared to have done enough to lock in a starting berth for the quarter-finals.
Look back at how the action in Shizuoka unfolded with our blog.