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Pumas edge near quarters

Argentina 54 Georgia 9

By Phil Blanche

Argentina took a huge step towards reaching the World Cup quarter-finals by crushing Georgia 54-9 in Gloucester.

Georgia were on a high after beating Tonga in their opening Pool C game, and only five places separated themselves and Argentina on the International Rugby Board's world rankings.

The Lelos were right in the game at half-time when trailing 14-9, but the turning point arrived within five minutes of the re-start when Georgia's best player, their No.8 and skipper Mamuka Gorgodze, was yellow-carded for slowing down ruck ball.

Argentina made their extra man count in ruthless fashion with three tries in six minutes, and finally the gap between eighth and 13th on the IRB rankings appeared an accurate reflection of the two teams' standing in the world game.

The Pumas had pushed world champions New Zealand all the way before losing their Wembley opener 26-16 and took belief from their efforts.

And they will now head into games with Tonga and Namibia expected to claim the second qualifying spot in the pool behind the All Blacks who remain the tournament favourites.

Argentina: Tries: Lavanini, Cubelli, Imhoff 2, Cordero 2, Landajo. Cons: Sanchez 3, Bosch 2. Pens: Sanchez 2. Drop Goals: Sanchez.

Argentina: Tuculet, Cordero, Bosch, Hernandez, Imhoff, Sanchez, Cubelli, Ayerza, Creevy, Tetaz Chaparro, Alemanno, Lavanini, Leguizamon, Fernandez Lobbe, Isa. Replacements: Gonzalez Amorosino for Tuculet (58), Landajo for Cubelli (59), Noguera for Ayerza (68), Montoya for Creevy (63), Herrera for Tetaz Chaparro (58), Ortega Desio for Fernandez Lobbe (65). Not Used: Matera, de la Fuente.

Georgia: Pens: Kvirikashvili 3.

Georgia: Kvirikashvili, Mchedlidze, Kacharava, Sharikadze, Aptsiauri, Malaguradze, Lobzhanidze, Nariashvili, Bregvadze, Zirakashvili, Nemsadze, Mikautadze, Tkhilaishvili, Kolelishvili, Giorgadze. Replacements: Gorgodze for Kvirikashvili (54), Begadze for Lobzhanidze (58), Asieshvili for Nariashvili (51),

Chilachava for Bregvadze (49), Mamukashvilli for Zirakashvili (52), Datunashvili for Mikautadze (50). Not Used: Sutiashvili, Pruidze.

Sin Bin: Giorgadze (45).

Attendance: 14,256

Referee: JP Doyle (RFU).

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