Pool D has very much gone accordingly to plan so far. The Welsh look like they will top the group with Uruguay to come, while the Aussies, most people’s choice to come second, can seal their passage into the last eight when they face Georgia at 11.15am on Friday.
This will be the first encounter between Australia and Georgia and it should be another ‘interesting’ game of rugby. We don’t have the Georgians pegged as a side who will already be thinking of home, so they could prove more than a test – for a while anyway – for an Australia side who have won all 18 of their Rugby World Cup matches against non-Tier 1 sides.
Their average margin of victory in these games is 46 points, so we are confident, despite the weird run of results this week, that this game is one where the handicap is a good bet. In fact, we are going to push the boat out a little and exceed the expected win margin (-27) by a score or two.
This World Cup will be remembered for many things. From Typhoons, to Eddie O’Sullivan and Jamie Heaslip’s panel appearances to poor refereeing. One area of the game that has become a bigger lottery than covering the handicaps, is the maul. Paddy Power’s odds makers have copped on to us as the tournament has gone on and Tolu Latu is just too short for ‘anytime try scorer’ for us to have some fun.
Therefore, we are going to lay it all on the line and punt for Latu to be the first try scorer of the game. The 26 year old Tongan born hooker is playing in his first World Cup and has already managed to score a pair of tries and earned Player of the Match honours in his side’s opening day win over Fiji.
The former forklift truck driver has the skills to be a scoring threat from more than just mauls too, so they could be an outlier for our first try scorer in what should be a high scoring affair
"I want to apologise to our supporters, we know how much this means to you…"
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 3, 2019
Before Georgia go home we need to show them some love. Outside of having one of the best looking jerseys at the tournament, Georgia also has one of the most exciting prospects in World Cup starting this week.
Gela Aprasidze is 21 and I am sure you will come to remember the name, if you don’t already recognise it from the Junior World Championships in 2017, which Georgia hosted.
Aprasidze, a scrum half, who plays his club rugby at Montpelier has the ability through sheer pace and speed of thought to cut through any defence. His solo try against the Irish 20s in 2017 is just one highlight of his short career worth looking up.