Pumas too strong for Georgia
October 02, 2011
Argentina secured their place in the quarterfinals of the Rugby World Cup with a 25-7 win over Georgia on Sunday.

Coming into the game in Palmerston North needing only a bonus point to progress to the knockout stages, Argentina's victory cemented second spot in Pool B behind England and set up a clash with New Zealand in the last eight.

However, Argentina struggled for long periods before finally putting their lower-ranked opponents away in a match littered with handling errors.

Two late tries put some gloss on the scoreline for Argentina but Georgia fought hard for 80 minutes in their final match of the tournament, with a strong physical performance let down by poor handling and a high penalty count.

After a scoreless first 30 minutes Argentina winger Juan Jose Imhoff crossed the line after the South Americans recycled the ball quickly through a number of phases and stretched the Georgian defence to breaking point on their right flank.

But Georgia struck back within five minutes to take a surprise 7-5 lead into halftime. A slick break down the left wing from within their own half by Lekso Gugava was followed by a chip kick, and flyhalf Lasha Khmaladze won the race to the ball to score the try.

[embed:video:id=108951] Argentina were let down by some poor kicking in the first half with captain Felipe Contepomi failing to convert Imhoff's try and missing a pair of penalties.

However, they regained the lead early in the second half after spending most of the first 10 minutes pounding the Georgian line, eventually earning a penalty close to the posts, before adding another penalty 10 minutes later.

Contepomi stretched the lead further in the 68th minute as slick passing saw the Argentinians break down the right and quick ball gave them a massive overlap for Contepomi to score on the left.

Argentina added another try to replacement Agustin Gosio just before the final whistle.

Argentina will now face favourites New Zealand in the quarterfinals on October 9, with the hosts still reeling from news that flyhalf Daniel Carter has been ruled out of the remainder of the World Cup with a groin injury.

Argentina -
Tries: Juan Imhoff, Felipe Contepomi, Agustin Gosio. Conversions: Contepomi, Marcelo Bosch. Penalties: Contepomi (2).
Georgia - Try: Lasha Khmaladze. Conversion: Malkhaz Urjukashvili.