All you need to know about Argentina's big Pool C win over Georgia at Kingsholm.
Six second-half tries from Argentina took a game that was in the balance and tilted it on its axis as the Pumas picked up their first match points of this World Cup with a resounding 54-9 win over Georgia
Lock Tomas Lavanini crossed for Argentina in the first half and Nicolas Sanchez kicked a drop-goal and two penalties, but three penalties from Merab Kvirikashvili left the scoreboard finely poised at 14-9 at the break.
Four minutes into the second half Georgia captain Mamuka Gorgodze was sin-binned for a professional foul close to his own line and while he was off Tomas Cubelli, Juan Imhoff and Santiago Cordero all scored tries in a six-minute smash-and-grab raid, with Sanchez converting all three. Georgia then tamed the Pumas for almost 20 minutes but three more tries in the closing stages from Martin Landajo, Cordero and Imhoff, plus two conversions from Marcelo Bosch made it a massive victory.
Argentina’s attack – Coach Daniel Hourcade told his team to relax and do what they do best in the second half and they heeded his wise words, played with confidence and more than a little pizzaz and scored 40 unanswered points. Georgia had no answer to the pace of wings Cordero and Imhoff and Argentina’s offloading, support play and dynamism was first class.
Travelling fans – The Gloucester Fanzone was awash with Argentines of all ages, bedecked in blue and white, before the match and during the game Kingsholm Stadium was rocking to the chants of thousands of South Americans. “I was like playing in an Argentinean stadium,” said skipper Agustin Creevy.
Georgia had their share of vociferous support too and they really made themselves heard, especially in the first half.
Language skills – How great to hear referee JP Doyle talking to the Georgians in French – a language they are much more familiar with than English. It makes so much difference when players aren’t struggling to overcome a language barrier in the heat of battle.
Puma penalties – Argentina handed possession and the initiative to Georgia time and time again in the first half by conceding penalties. The first three scrums all ended in a penalty to Georgia, they gave away three points when Matias Alemanno obstructed Merab Kvirikashvili as he chased his own kick and served up two more kickable penalties with ruck infringements. Argentina know they need to address this issue if they want to progress through to the final stages of this tournament.
Georgian mistakes – It’s harsh to criticise Georgia, as they were so comprehesively outclassed in the second half after battling so well in the first, but they created a couple of chances during the second period and failed to take them, most notably when Murazi Giorgadze was stopped under the posts.
Their skipper Mamuka Gorgodze left his team in the lurch for ten minutes after being sin-binned for conceding a penalty at a ruck on his own line, While he was gone Georgia shipped 21 points and it was game over.
137 – Argentina wing Santiago Cordero made this many metres in attack
14- the number of Rugby World Cup matches Merab Kvirikashvili has played, namely every match his nation has featured in. The full-back has only started nine of those games, but he’s never missed out on a place in the matchday squad.
54 – despite the one-sided scoreline, Argentina only enjoyed 54% of possession and 56% of territory.
15 – Argentina won all 15 of their lineouts, and stole three of Georgia’s, but the Pumas lost two of their four scrums.
Argentina: J Tuculet; S Cordero, M Bosch, J-M Hernandez (J de la Fuente 36), J Imhoff; N Sanchez (L Amorosino 64), T Cubelli (M Landajo 57); M Ayerza (L Paz 67), A Creevy (capt, J Montoya 62), N Tetaz Chaparro (R Herrera 57), M Alemanno, T Lavanini, J Leguizamon (P Matera 57), J-M Fernandez Lobbe (J Ortega Desio 64), F Isa.
Tries (7): Tomas Lavanini, Tomas Cubelli, Juan Imhoff 2, Santiago Cordero 2, Martin Landajo. Pens: Nicolas Sanchez 2. Cons: Sanchez 3, Bosch 2 DG: Sanchez
Georgia: M Kvirikashvili (M Giorgadze 53); T Mchedlidze (G Pruidze 58), D Kacharava, M Sharikadze, G Aptsiauri; L Malaguradze, V Lobzhanidze (G Begadze 57); M Nariashvili (K Asieshvili 51), J Bregvadze (S Mamukashvili 48), D Zirakashvili (L Chilachava 51), G Nemsadze, K Mikautadze (L Datunashvili 48), G Tkhilaishvili, V Kolelishvili (S Sutiashvili 57), M Gorgodze (capt).
Pens: Merab Kvirikashvili 3
Yellow Card: Mamuka Gorgodze 44 min.
Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Man of the Match: Santiago Cordero
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