Australia toil to victory against Georgia

Australia v Georgia

Australia v Georgia

The wind and persistent rain presaging Saturday's arrival of Typhoon Hagibis made for an untidy contest but the Wallabies did just enough to ensure they will top the pool if Wales slip up against Uruguay on Sunday.

Georgia did not relent under pressure and clawed their way back with a 71st minute try from Sandro Todua but Australia closed the game well with back to back tries from Jack Dempsey and Will Genia in the final five minutes and despite To'omua missing both the conversions, Cheika's men sealed a 27-8 bonus point victory.

But an initial break by Matt Toomua set up another Wallaby attacking platform and Georgia eventually wilted, scrum-half Nic White burrowing past Mikheil Nariashvili from close range for a try Toomua converted.

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.

There was no shock for Georgia, but it was certainly not down to a lack of hunger and commitment. "We're the lowest kicking team in global rugby, we like to keep the ball in hand, we knew the conditions were going to be tricky and I think we did drop a bit too much ball", he said.

"Their defense was really solid and credit to them".

Australia head coach Michael Cheika's policy of chopping and changing has raised a few eyebrows and it will be interesting to see the line-up he goes with next weekend.

"I wanted the forwards to get a big hit-out tonight", Cheika said.

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"Now we're in the knockout stages we have to keep building now we're here".

"We need to be sharper in attack, pick the holes better - but it's easy for me to say, I'm sitting in the grandstand".

"Our first game against Georgia, they certainly delivered in terms of set piece physicality and it was a flawless day for set piece play", Australia captain David Pocock said.

From the opening minutes, Australia lacked cohesion and structure, failing to break down a stubborn Georgia defence that had already conceded 95 points in just three games at the tournament.

"I thought we defended with big hearts today", Georgia coach Milton Haig said. We did our country proud.

"We fought well", Georgia captain Merab Sharikadze said, reflecting on the improvement his Georgians have made after some lopsided losses to Wales and Fiji.

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.

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