Simon Mail previews Friday's World Cup match between Australia and Georgia with the Wallabies bidding to build momentum for the knockout stage...
"A feature of Australia's matches at the World Cup have been their improvement in the second half. The Wallabies overturned a two-point deficit to beat Fiji 39-21, scored 26 points against Uruguay and almost completed a comeback after handing Wales a 15-point half-time lead."
Australia v Georgia
Live on ITV 4
Wallabies yet to hit top form in Japan
Australia have progressed to the quarter-finals but their defeat to Wales is likely to result in second place and a tougher route to the World Cup final. The Wallabies will be determined to put on a performance in their final pool game against Georgia, ahead of a potential last-eight tie against fierce rivals England.
During this tournament, Australia have shown flashes of world-class ability but have failed to produce a complete performance. Michael Cheika's side gave themselves too much to do against Wales, trailing 23-8 at half-time, before a second-half rally pushed them close. Australia scored seven tries as they eased to a 45-10 win over Uruguay on Saturday.
Cheika has made ten changes to their team with captain Michael Hooper rested ahead of the knockout stage. David Pocock will lead Australia in their final pool match with Hooper on the bench. Jordan Petaia became Australia's youngest World Cup player, at the age of 19, after scoring in his Test debut against Uruguay and he switches to the right wing for this match.
Georgia aiming to out-muscle opponents
Georgia will be looking to pull off an upset as they bid to win their second match in this year's World Cup. Milton Haig's side started with a heavy defeat against Wales but responded with a comfortable 33-7 victory against Uruguay. Georgia were blown away by a blistering attacking performance in Fiji's 45-10 win and could face another onslaught against Australia.
This will be the first match between the teams and two-time world champions Australia are huge favourites to win in Shizuoka. Although this is not a vintage Wallabies team, they should still have more than enough quality to deal with the limited physical gameplan of Georgia. The handicap mark is 27 points but a more appealing bet is backing Cheika's team to finish with a flourish.
A feature of Australia's matches at the World Cup have been their improvement in the second half. The Wallabies overturned a two-point deficit to beat Fiji 39-21, scored 26 points against Uruguay and almost completed a comeback after handing Wales a 15-point half-time lead. Georgia could be punished as the game progresses and Australia are backed to cover a 14-point second-half handicap.
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