RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015
Thursday, 8 October 6:00am
Despite neither side being able to reach the knockout stages, this game has an added significance for Georgia as they aim to ensure a spot at Japan 2019. Third in the pool guarantees a place in the next edition of the tournament and unless Tonga achieve the near impossible and shock the All Blacks on Friday night, victory here will see the Lelos qualify in this fashion for the first time in their history. Georgia were again galvanized by Mamuka Gorgodze, who put in a man of the match performance, in their 43-10 defeat to New Zealand. The prospect of his clash with Jacques Burger is mouth-watering. Burger too was the source of inspiration for his side last time out against Tonga, scoring two tries as Namibia registered their best ever World Cup result: a 21-35 loss. The African nation will hope to improve on that against a Georgian side they have only overcome once before.
Georgia have triumphed in their other three meetings but the two have been separated by a margin greater than eight points just once. That result came in their solitary World Cup encounter in 2007 when the Eastern Europeans won convincingly 30-0.
Georgia are in the same pool as another minnow for the fourth successive tournament. Along with that success in 2007 they also prevailed against European rivals Romania four years ago but lost out to Uruguay in 2003. The Lelos have not lost a Six Nations B match since 2010 and have won 14 of their last 16 against all minnows but only two of the last 10 victories have covered the current -13.5 pre-match handicap.
Namibia have lost seven of their last eleven versus a tier two nation outside of Africa since the start of 2011 but five of those defeats were by fewer than 10 points. It is worth bearing in mind that many of those failures were without Burger, who saves himself for the World Cup to represent his country. With him in the team we’re prepared to back Namibia with the points for the third game running.
- Georgia have won 14 of their last 16 against another minnow but just two of their last 10 wins have been by 14 or more points
- Georgia have beaten Namibia by more than eight points in just one of their four meetings
- Backing Namibia with the points has proved profitable in their last two matches