044. Matches 16, 17 and 18

RWC2019 Match 16: Georgia 33 Uruguay 7

A four day turn around for Uruguay after their heroics against Fiji.  They were never going to be in the hunt.

Georgia had 59 percent possession and 69 percent territory, which maybe says the Georgians should have had more than five tries. But hey, that’s a bonus point and put them third in Pool D. Mission accomplished.


RWC2019 Match 17: Wales 29 Australia 25

Yes the refereeing was terrible.

But so what, Mr Cheika? It has ever been thus, and always will be.  Ned’s rule from 2007 is “Never be in a position where a referee’s mistake can cost you the match.”

For long periods Australia played like they were auditioning to be a Northern Hemisphere team. Pick and go, pick and go, looking for contact rather than gaps, bash and budge. That’s your error, Mr Cheika, not the refs’.

The Welsh played like a Warren Gatland team, so no surprises there. Big, strong, brave – but very limited gap creation.

Remember that the prize for coming second in this Pool is probably a quarter-final against England. Which maybe might have been a reason to be more ambitious.


RWC2019 Match 18: Scotland 34 Samoa 0

Samoa struggled mightily in the sweltering heat and humidity, but they came up against a Scotland side that had something to prove after being absent without leave against Ireland. (And then Japan beating Ireland throwing Pool A into a free-for-all.)

Four tries (including two penalty tries) to Scotland gets them a bonus point, which will be critical to the final standings. They showed character, if not a whole lot of menace.

The last Pool match – Japan vs. Scotland – is shaping up to be massive, with everything on the line for those two teams, and the quarter-final matchups a mystery until the 80th minute.


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