Rugby World Cup 2015: Tonga v Georgia

Posted: September 17, 2015 at 5:07 pm

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RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015

Pool C

Tonga v Georgia

Saturday September 19, 9pm

 

Neither Tonga nor Georgia have ever progressed past the pool stage and it’s going to be a tough ask again this year as they are partnered with both New Zealand and Argentina in their group. However with Namibia as the fifth team, Tonga will feel that if they can overcome Georgia here then there will be added pressure on Argentina when they meet at a later stage. Both sides come into the tournament with contrasting form, Tonga have won five of their last eight, including victories over Japan and Canada, while Georgia are on a four match losing streak that includes defeats to the same two nations. There is little head-to-head form to go on as they’ve met just once this century with Tonga prevailing 23-9 in Georgia last year.

Since the last World Cup, Tonga have won ten of 12 against minnows with eight of those victories being by 9-14 points. Over a similar time-span, Georgia have lost nine of their 18 games against others teams involved in this tournament with five being by fewer than 13 points. As a result we recommend steering clear of the 12.5 handicap as it looks too tough to call.

We prefer Tonga to score the first try. They have scored first in eight of their last 11 against minnows and Georgia have conceded first in five of their last nine matches. The Georgians have also faced a Pacific Island country on four occasions this century (conceding the first try every time) and scored just two tries while conceding 13. However at around 1.4 to score the first try, we feel there is more value in the first scoring play to be a Tonga try at anything above 4.0.

It is also worth noting that Tongan winger Fetu’u Vainikolo has scored 16 tries in his last 21 appearances and has touched down nine times in his last 11 against a minnow nation.

 

Key Statistics

  • Tonga have lost just three of their last 10 matches.
  • Tonga have won ten of their last 12 against minnows and are unbeaten in six. Their average winning margin has been by 12 points.
  • Vainikolo has scored 16 tries in his previous 21 games
  • Tonga and Georgia have met once this century (Nov 2014). Tonga won 23-9.
  • In 2015, Georgia won their first 6 games but they’ve since lost their last four.
  • Since the 2011 WC Georgia have W1-L2 against Pacific Island nations and have conceded the first try in every game.
  • In the last two World Cups only Argentina (twice), England and France have beaten Georgia by more than 13 points. Both Scotland and Ireland won but by less than 10 points.

 

Recommendation: First scoring play – Tonga try 4.00