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Georgia will aim to keep their hopes of qualifying to the knockout stage of the Rugby World Cup alive when they take on Fiji in the third round of the pool stage. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 3:15pm (AEST).
While Pool D looks like it’s going down the expected path with Australia and Wales at the head of affairs, Georgia and Fiji can both apply some pressure with a win today in Higashiosaka.
Georgia’s two games have brought about the anticipated results, where they were thumped by European powerhouse Wales, but managed to hit back with a strong win over Uruguay.
The game against the South American nation showed exactly what they can do in attack given an equal split of possession and territory, but their defence against a good attack is susceptible.
That is where they will have to improve out of sight against Fiji, who might be clunky with the ball in hand, but possess weapons all over the park.
The Pacific Island nation were strong in their opener against the Australian side, before falling away to lose by 18 points, and should have won against Uruguay, but were upset by three points.
The loss to Uruguay all but ends their chances of making the quarter-finals at the tournament, however, they won’t want to go home with another couple of losses under their belt.
Beating Georgia will be viewed as a way to restore some of the pride lost against the South Americans in their last start and with Ben Volavola and Kini Murimurivalu controlling things, they can score from anywhere on the park.
Georgia’s defence against Wales indicates they can leak tries long-range at times, so expect wingers Semi Radaradra and Josua Tuisova to have big games for Fiji.
The European nation will need to keep the game physical and wear down the big Fijian pack in the middle of the park, then hope to get on top by making the most of every scoring opportunity they come across.
Fiji should have too much attacking flair for Georgia, and after a couple of solid performances where they came up short, they should put their first points of the tournament on the board today.
Fiji by 12.
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Kick-off: 3:15pm (AEST)
Venue: Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Osaka Prefecture, Higashiosaka City
TV: Live, Fox Sports 503
Online: Live, Kayo Sports, Foxtel App, Foxtel Now
Betting: Fiji $1.33, Georgia $3.37
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
1. Mikhel Nariashvili, 2. Shalva Mamukashvili, 3. Beka Gigashvili, 4. Girogi Nemsadze, 5. Konstantine Mikautadze, 6. Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 7. Mamuka Gorgadze, 8. Beka Gorgadze, 9. Vasil Lobzhanidze, 10. Lasha Khmaladze, 11. Alexander Todua, 12. Merab Sharikadze (c), 13. Davit Kacharava, 14. Girogi Kveseladze, 15. Soso Matiashvili
Interchange: 16. Jaba Bregvadze, 17. Guram Gogichashvili, 18. Levan Chilachava, 19. Otari Giorgadze, 20. Beka Saginadze, 21. Gela Aprasidze, 22. Lasha Malaguradze, 23. Miriani Modebadze
1. Campese Ma’afu, 2. Samuel Matavesi, 3. Manasa Saulo, 4. Tevita Cavubati 5. Leona Nakarawa, 6. Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 7. Semi Kunatani, 8. Paceli Yato, 9. Frank Lomani, 10. Ben Volavola, 11. Semi Radradra, 12. Levani Botia, 13. Waisea Nayacalevu, 14. Josua Tuisova, 15. Kini Murimurivalu
Interchange: 16. Turvere Vugakoto, 17. Eroni Mawi, 18. Peni Ravai, 19. Api Ratuniyarawa, 20. Viliame Mata, 21. Nikola Matawalu, 22. Jale Vatubua, 23. Josh Matavesi