Argentina 54-9 Georgia: Pumas purr in five star win
Flair from fly-half Nicolas Sanchez dictated the pace in a resounding victory for Argentina. Seven tries led them to their largest-ever win against Georgia, and their fourth greatest in Rugby World Cup history.
Both of Argentina’s wingers starred as Juan Imhoff and Santiago Cordero each scored a brace, while Sanchez contributed 15 vital points from the boot.
Georgia were physical as expected and battled well, keeping the half-time score close at 14-9. However the South Americans’ class finally told after the break and Argentina turned on the style by scoring six second half tries to run away with the result and leapfrog Georgia to go second in Pool C.
Sanchez got the ball rolling on six minutes with a scrappy but effective drop goal to put the Pumas 3-0 up. A breakthrough try followed shortly after with 22-year-old lock Tomas Lavanini scoring his second international try and first in a Rugby World Cup.
Good work from the Georgians narrowed the gap after successive penalties from Merab Kvirikashvili. The Number 10s then traded three more between them to keep the score tight at the interval, 14-9.
Just five minutes into the second half, came the pivotal point of the match. Georgia’s captain Mamuka Gorgodze let his passion overspill and he was sent to the sin bin.
During the 10 minutes that he was absent, the floodgates opened. Thomas Cubelli was initially denied by the TMO as he was just short of the line, but two minutes later he was through for Argentina’s second.
Wingers Imhoff and Cordero then helped themselves to one apiece to make it a costly sin-binning to the tune of 21 more points conceded with a bonus point in the bag for the Pumas.
Scrum-half Martin Landajo added a fifth before the two wingers completed their braces to add the gloss to the scoreline in what was a superb performance.
Argentina’s remarkable second half tally of 40 points is the most scored after the break so far in this World Cup. The gulf in class between these two was clear to see as the game wore on, with one of the most clinical and spectacular second half displays of the tournament to date.
The Pumas face Tonga next and look primed and ready to advance to the quarter-finals in style.Georgia meanwhile were clearly disappointed with themselves come the final whistle, but it was yet another battling display nonetheless.The Lelos must now dust themselves down quickly, as next up is the mighty All Blacks.
Man of the match: Santiago Cordero
The 21-year-old wing looked lively throughout the game, but really came into this own in the second half. Cordero’s speed and agility enabled to him to perform some brilliantly improvised evasive action, that allowed him to gallop toward the try line and touch down on two occasions. Expect him to work his magic once more against Tonga in the next round.
Argentina: 15. Joaquin Tuculet; 14. Santiago Cordero, 13. Marcelo Bosch, 12. Juan Martin Hernandez (Jeronimo De La Fuente 36), 11. Juan Imhoff, 10. Nicolas Sanchez (Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino 65), 9. Tomas Cubelli (Martin Landajo 58), 8. Facundo Isa, 7. Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (Javier Ortega Desio 65), 6. Juan Manuel Leguizamon (Pablo Matera 58), 5. Tomas Lavanini, 4. Matias Alemanno, 3. Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro (Ramiro Herrera 58) , 2. Agustin Creevy (Julian Montoya 63), 1. Marcos Ayerza (Lucas Noguera 68)
Georgia: 15. Merab Kvirikashvili (Murazi Giorgadze 54), 14. Tamaz Mchedlidze (Giorgi Pruidze 59), 13. Davit Kacharava, 12. Merab Sharikadze, 11. Giorgi Aptsiauri, 10. Lasha Malaguradze, 9. Vasil Lobzhanidze (Giorgi Begadze 58), 8. Mamuka Gorgodze, 7. Viktor Kolelishvili (Shalva Sutiashvili 58), 6. Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 5. Konstantine Mikautadze (Levan Datunashvili 48), 4. Giorgi Nemsadze, 3. Davit Zirakashvili (Levan Chilachava 51), 2. Jaba Bregvadze (Shalva Mamukashvili 49), 1. Mikheil Nariashvili (Karlen Asieshvili 51)