RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015
Saturday, 3 October 5:00am
At half-time Georgia were well in their match against Argentina and the thought of another World Cup upset wasn’t out of the question. That was until their inspirational captain, Mamuka Gordoze, got sin-binned and things quickly spiralled out of control as they conceded three tries in a catastrophic six minutes before eventually being thrashed 54-9. The result will have been a bitter pill to swallow for the Eastern Europeans considering how well they’d executed a game plan for one-and-a-half matches and it highlights the importance of Gordoze. ‘The Mighty One’ will need to match the performance of his Namibian counter-part, Jacques Burger, if his team are to avoid a hiding at the hands of New Zealand. After defeating Los Pumas in their opener the rest of this pool is just a formality for the All Blacks but after 12 changes last week expect a few of the big guns to return here.
After the Namibian game, head coach Steve Hansen challenged his team to try deal with sides attempting to disrupt their flowing style of rugby as New Zealand seemed to lose their way in the second 40. They scored ‘just’ 22 points after the break despite the in-running handicap of -40 at half-time. It was the first time in seven matches that they’ve won by fewer than 62 points against minnows.
Georgia have only been beaten by more than 57 points once in the last three World Cups and that came against the triumphant England side of 2003. Georgia have little experience against the strongest teams in the world including never facing Australia nor New Zealand.
Dan Carter has said this week they need to step things up and improve. Given how they usually dismiss the minnows and the message from the camp this week, we expect a Kiwi backlash on their way to a 27th successive pool stage victory.
- New Zealand have won 26 straight pool matches
- New Zealand have won by 62 points or more in five of their last six against minnows at the World Cup
- This is the first ever meeting between the two nations
- Georgia have been beaten by more than 57 points just once since 2003