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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 September 2007, 19:46 GMT 20:46 UK
Argentina 33-3 Georgia
By Rob Hodgetts

Argentina's Juan Martin Hernandez holds off the Georgian defence
Argentina took their time to unlock the Georgian defence

Argentina: (6) 33
Tries: Borges (2), Albacete, Aramburu
Cons: F Contepomi, M Hernandez
Pens: F Contepomi (3)

Georgia: (3)
Pens: Kvirikashvili

Argentina were made to work hard for their 33-3 victory over a stubborn and resilient Georgia in the World Cup Pool D match in Lyon.

The Pumas, with six changes to the side that beat France, struggled to find a rhythm early on and were held to a 6-3 half-time lead by a tenacious defence.

Right wing Lucas Borges broke the try stalemate shortly after the interval and added a second 10 minutes later.

Patricio Albacete and Federico Aramburu added late scores for a bonus point.

The five-point win kept Argentina in the hunt for a place in the knock-out stages as one of the best two teams in Pool D, piling the pressure on France and Ireland.

"That was very tough. It was a very bruising evening," said Argentine centre Felipe Contepomi, who skippered the side in place of the injured Agustin Pichot.

"Georgia are physical and are a very good team. We had a turn around of just four days but they were fresh - it was their first game.


"We had to work until the final seconds of the match to get the bonus point. It was very important, you have to get as many points as you can."

Georgia captain Ilia Zedginidze said his team had tired after their epic resistance in the first half.

"We lack that little extra physical point... and there is a psychological barrier in teams like ours against the top sides," he said.

"We also lack a capacity to concentrate for the full 80 minutes."

The Georgians spent most of the first half bravely defending repeated hammerings at their own line, but the underdogs snatched an early lead through a penalty from Merab Kvirikashvili, who also missed a drop-goal attempt.

For all their possession, the Pumas were unable to punch through the thin red line and came away with just two Felipe Contepomi penalties.

Fly-half Kvirikashvili tried another drop-goal after the break but Argentina instead stretched ahead when Borges rounded off a flowing move down the right flank.

Contepomi missed the conversion but added a penalty and the Pumas took control when Borges scorched away from the cover to score a second in the right corner.

Georgia's spirit, if not their legs, was still strong and they continued to work hard without really threatening at the other end.

Their hopes of a shock victory were finally sunk when Albacete muscled his way over on 71 minutes.

And with less than 60 seconds left on the clock, flanker Aramburu scampered around the blind-side to ensure the crucial bonus point for scoring four tries.

Argentina: Corleto, Borges, Tiesi, Contepomi (capt), Aramburu, Hernandez, Miranda, Leguizamon, Lobbe, Duran, Albacete, Kairelis, Bonorino, Ledesma, Ayerza.
Replacements: Basualdo, Jalil, Lozada, Schusterman, Miranda, Todeschini, Miras

Georgia: Jimsheladze; Machkhaneli, Urjukashvili, I Guiorgadze, Khamashuridze; Kvirikashvili, Abusseridze; Khinchagishvili, A Guiorgadze, Zirakashvili, Zedquinidze, Gorgodze, Chkhaidze, Labadze, Udesiani.
Replacements: Shvelidze, Kopaliani, Didebulidze, Maisuradze, Samkharadze, Gigauri, Shkinin.

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