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Rugby World Cup: McCaw injury scare in All Blacks victory over Georgia

New Zealand 43-10 Georgia

By Phil Blanche

Published 03/10/2015

Early success: Julian Savea breaks through the Georgia defence to score New Zealand’s second try
Early success: Julian Savea breaks through the Georgia defence to score New Zealand’s second try

New Zealand moved into the World Cup quarter-finals by predictably beating Georgia in bonus-point fashion - but it was a performance laced with errors.

And they appeared to suffer an injury scare when skipper Richie McCaw made a 60th-minute exit after being on the receiving end of a crunching tackle and immediately had ice appplied to two separate areas on his leg, summing up New Zealand's night.

The world champion All Blacks' 43-10 Millennium Stadium triumph tightened their grip on Pool C and secured a last-eight spot, yet coach Steve Hansen will have been left totally unimpressed.

New Zealand scored four first-half tries - the first after just 73 seconds when winger Waisake Naholo, returning to action just 10 weeks after breaking his leg, touching down, with fellow wing Julian Savea also crossing twice, while hooker Dane Coles went over wide out.

But they were restricted to only three second-half scores, with number eight Kieran Read adding a 48th-minute try and Savea completing his hat-trick before substitute Malakai Fekitoa crossed.

But the biggest cheers among a 69,000 crowd were reserved for Georgia, whose captain and flanker Mamuka Gorgodze was deservedly named man of the match.

Full-back Beka Tsiklauri claimed an early breakaway try to spark wild celebrations among his team-mates, while fly-half Lasha Malaguradze outshone his celebrated opposite number Dan Carter in the goalkicking department.

While an out-of-sorts Carter missed three conversions out of seven, Malaguradze added the extras to Tsiklauri's try and landed a long-range penalty.

New Zealand scored only 21 points after the 23rd minute and with Ireland or France looming in the quarter-finals, they will need a vast improvement after making more mistakes during one game than sometimes in an entire season.

NEW ZEALAND: Ben Smith; Waisake Nadolo, Conrad Smith, Sonny Bill Williams, Julian Savea; Dan Carter, Aaron Smith; Wyatt Crockett, Dane Coles, Charlie Faumuina; Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock; Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read. Reps: Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock, Owen Franks, Victor Vito, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr Barlow, TJ Perenara, Malakai Fekitoa.

Tries: Naholo, Savea 3, Coles, Read, Fekitoa Conversions: Carter 4; Penalties: 0

GEORGIA: Beka Tsuklauri; Giorgi Apciauri, David Kacharava, Tamaz Mchedlidze, Alexandr Todua; Lasha Malaguradze, Giorgi Begadze; Karlen Asieshvili, Shalva Mamukashvili, Levan Chilachava; Levan Datunashvili, Giorgi Chkhaidze; Shalva Sutiashvili, Mamuka Gorgodze (capt), Lasha Lomidze. Replacements: Simon Maisuradze, Mikhail Nariashvili, Anton Peikrishvili, Kote Mikautadze, Viktor Kolelishvili, Vasil Lobjanidze, Merab Sharikadze, Muraz Giorgadze.

Tries: Tsiklauri; Conversion: Malaguradze; Penalty: Malaguradze

Belfast Telegraph

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