Australia cruise to opening win over Georgia
Eddie Jones’ Australia got their 2023 Rugby World Cup Pool ‘C’ campaign off to a winning start but remained in need of much improvement after a 35-15 win over minnows Georgia at the Stade de France on Saturday.
The Wallabies scored early tries through outside-centre Jordan Petaia and wing Mark Nawaqanitawase, before full back Ben Donaldson added three penalties for an 18-3 half-time lead.
Georgia had registered a Luka Matkava penalty, and managed to carve out two tries in the second period through openside flanker Luka Ivanishvili and prop Beka Gigashvili, either side of a Donaldson brace of tries for Australia to make sure of victory, though the Aussies only made sure of the try bonus-point with 11 minutes left.
Centre Petaia wriggled across the line in the second minute and made the break to send winger Nawaqanitawase in for another try seven minutes later before Donaldson took over from the kicking tee to keep the scoreboard ticking over. The Georgians, pinned into their own half by the Australian kicking, were becoming frustrated and left winger Mirian Modebadze was shown a yellow card just before half time.
The Lelos came out with renewed purpose after the break and, still down to 14-men, cut the deficit to 21-8 when fly half Luka Matkava fired a looping pass out to flanker Ivanishvili on the left wing. (C.D)