TThe best plans of Wallabies and men often go awry. In the absence of a dominant No. 10 at this World Cup, the Wallabies hired three playmakers in their 27-8 win against Georgia in their last Pool D game at Shizuoka Stadium – Matt To & omua, in front of the center of James O & # 39; s in fifth place. Connor and fullback Kurtley Beale.
Significantly, all three have played five-eighths for the Wallabies, although they have established themselves in other positions. And the three playmakers played alternately at the first receiver against Georgia until a battered Beale left the field with a single header in the 13th minute.
When O'Connor and Beale did not come to the first receiver, they often appeared at the second receiver and continued to squeeze strong midfielder Samu Kerevi.
Kerevi was at the center of the Wallabies' game plan as he crossed the advantage line with strong ball players. The Wallabies, however, seemed more interested in developing the combination between the three playmakers. It was a possible preview of how they would solve their fifth and eighth dilemma for the likely quarter-final against England. But did coach Michael Cheika and his co-selectors see enough in just 13 minutes to make a decision?
When Beale left the score 0: 0, the playful trio could not unlock the strict Georgian defense. A flawless break from To'omua led to the Wallabies' first attempt at center-back Nic White in the 22nd minute. At halftime, however, they only led with 10: 3. In the 59th minute needed Marika Koroibete a piece of individual brilliance to give the Wallabies the necessary freedom. Koroiebete took a loose ball and kicked off his right foot. He defeated three defenders in a mesmerizing run to the experimental line. It was a wonderful work by Koroibete, but not an example of the teamwork Cheika had been looking for.
Interestingly, To'omua retained the duty to push, although Christian Lealiifano, the fifth eighth, came into the match just two minutes before Koroibete's attempt. Despite only making three out of five attempts against Georgia, To'omua has the best percentage of goal shots of any of the half-time candidates this year. This could be crucial if the selection finalizes the team for England.
Lealiifano replaced the young wing Jordan Petaia, who showed another strong performance. All defenders moved one position further, possibly leading to some confusion in the defense. Georgia's only attempt to defend Sandro Todua in the 69th minute brought the Lelos back in the match by 17-8.
The Wallabies struggled to find rhythm and pace in their attack, but that was probably not the fault of their playmakers. Despite the wet and windy conditions, they played with the ball in hand and kept away, especially in the first half of tactical kicks.
Before the match, Cheika offered that kicking was not in Australia's nature, but the tactics of holding the ball were more about preparing the strikers for the big clash with the English national team in the quarter-finals. As a result, under the slippery conditions against Georgia, the Wallabies repeatedly coughed up the ball and stifled their continuity in the attack.
After demanding a more disciplined performance, Cheika would have been disappointed when the Australians got another yellow card for a head high tackle. Isi Naisarani was sent to the bunker in the 34th minute following an illegal clean-up, while To'omua was penalized at the start of the game due to a head-high duel.
It will be interesting to see if Naisarani's indiscretion affects the selection of the back row of Wallabies for the quarter-finals. Backsman David Pocock played Georgia's open side wing, and his "Pooper" combination with Wallabies captain Michael Hooper, who was resting against Georgia, is likely to be reunited for the English game. This means that Naisarani will fight with Jack Dempsey for third place in the back row of Wallabies.
Dempsey, who plays at the Blindside Flanker, underpinned his strong performance against Uruguay with another solid performance against Georgia. Dempsey scored his first test attempt on the back of a rolling jaw from a 5-yard lineout in the 74th minute. While Dempsey is not as powerful as Naisarani, he has excellent skills in legwork and ball handling. At least he probably backed up a seat on the reserve bench.
Cheika would have been pretty happy with the overall performance of the strikers against Georgia. They claimed to be one of the strongest scramblers in Europe and eventually made it to the top of the line-out, although their ball race could have been more accurate.
Young striker Taniela Tupou beat Georgia off the bench and argued about a place in the 23-member Wallabies squad for the quarter-finals. Tupou was involved in the Wallabies' fourth and final attempt when he dropped Rob Simmons out of the Centurion Castle, broke out, and then relegated to substitute full-back Will Genia.
The Wallabies took much longer to get to the top of Georgia than they would have liked, but a tough, physical hit was exactly what they needed in their last game before the knockout stages.