RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015
Saturday, 26 September 01:45
This pool C clash takes huge significance as the winner will go a long way to booking themselves a quarter-final spot. After losing their opener to New Zealand, Argentina know they have to win all of their remaining pool matches to progress. Meanwhile Georgia, whose upset against Tonga was slightly overshadowed by Japan, know that if they can cause another shock here then they will just have to beat Namibia to get through to their first ever quarter-final. They also have the benefit of an extra day’s rest after both teams partook in physical opening affairs.
For the third successive World Cup these two meet in the pool stages. In 2007, Los Pumas were arguably the team of the tournament and comprehensively beat Georgia by 30 points. In 2011, the Georgians showed much improvement by leading 7-5 at half-time before conceding 18 unanswered second-half points. They met again more recently in 2013 as the European nation closed the gap further losing just 18-29. Interestingly over the three games Georgia have outscored their opposition in the first-lf 22-20 and led at the break in the latest two meetings. A Georgia/Argentina (HT/FT) result at 7.2 appeals here.
After that Tonga result, The Lelos have to be respected as more than just a minnow. In the last three World Cups they’ve had an average losing score line of 12-28 against the second ranked team in their pool, including a 10-14 loss to Ireland in 07. In 2011 they pushed Scotland all the way being defeated 6-15, while in the last few years they’ve lost narrowly to Argentina (as eluded to earlier) and Fiji by five points as well as a triumph over Samoa. In fact they have only been defeated by more than 20 points once since 2011 and that was against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.
Georgia had a simple game plan against Tonga: be physical, take them on up front and be disciplined in defence. We expect a similar performance here. Given the magnitude of the outcome of this game, Argentina will just be desperate to win so it is difficult to imagine them playing an expansive style of rugby. As a result we believe it will be tight and can’t see Los Pumas putting 22 points on their opponents. Also, Georgia to win at 13.5 isn’t unthinkable.
- Argentina have a W6-L1 record against Northern hemisphere sides at the World cup pool stage since 2003. The only loss came against England in 2011.
- Argentina have been in the same pool as Georgia in the last two World Cups, winning on both occasions.
- In their last two meetings Georgia have lead at half-time and Argentina have gone on to win
- Georgia have lost by more than 20 points just once since the last World Cup