Match Centre: Rugby World Cup Pool C: Wales 41-19 Georgia

Liam Williams of Wales celebrates with Sam Castelow of Wales after scoring his team's second try against Georgia
Liam Williams of Wales celebrates with Sam Castelow of Wales after scoring his team's second try against Georgia
©Photo by Pauline Ballet - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

Wales 43-19 Georgia, Pool C, Stade de la Beaujoire

Louis Rees-Zammit starred with a hat-trick as Wales defeated Georgia 43-19 in their Pool C encounter of the Rugby World Cup at Stade de la Beaujoire on Saturday.

This was fourth win for Wales from as many games as they finished the group stage at the top of Pool C while Georgia are at fourth place after losing three out of the four matches. Wales will now face the runner up of Pool D - the winner of the clash between Japan and Argentina in the quarter-final on 14th October in Marseille.

Wales were forced to make a late change as Gareth Anscombe injured his groin during a warm-up session allowing Sam Costelow to take his place and Dan Biggar was added to the bench.

Georgia showed great defence to keep Wales at bay in the opening stage but Warren Gatland's men drew the first blood in the 16th minute as Tomas Francis crashed through a tackle as he scored from two metres out and Costelow kicked the extras to make it 7-0.

Seven minutes later, Wales doubled their tally as Tomos Williams feeds Costelow, who in turn allowed Liam Williams to touchdown and Costelow followed with a conversion and a penalty to ensure Wales extended their lead to 17-0 in the opening half-hour of the game.

As the break was approaching, Georgia opened their account as skipper Merab Sharikadze touched down at the back of a powerful maul brushing aside desperate tackle from Wales for their opening try as the teams completed the opening half with a 17-7 scoreline.

Wales were the quickest to get off the block as they capitalised on a poor pass from Giorgi Kveseladze which was collected by George North, who sent a simple pass to Rees-Zammit as he dived over the line. Costelow kicked the conversion as Wales extended their lead to 24-7.

Georgia clawed their way back in the game as Vano Karkadze crashed over after a line out drive and the start of the final quarter saw Davit Niniashvili brush away a poor tackle from Gareth Davies to score. Matkava missed the conversion on their third try as the gap between the two teams came down to five points.

Costelow missed a penalty chance for Wales in the 65th minute but ensured he added the conversion to Wales' fourth try that came from Rees-Zammit dived from close range in the 67th minute as the scoreline became 31-19. Both the teams were down to 14 players in the final 10 minutes as a scuffle involving 20 players started with Taine Basham's neck grab on Niniashvili with eventually both the players were sent to sin-bin.

Any chance of a Wales comeback was put off as Rees-Zammit completed the hat-trick in the 74th minute and George North powered his way through in the closing stage sealing a 24-point victory for Gatland's men as they move into the quarter-finals brimming with confidence.

Points Table: Pool C

Position Team Played Won Lost Points
1 Wales 4 4 0 19
2 Australia 4 2 2 11
3 Fiji 3 2 1 10
4 Georgia 4 0 1 3
5 Portugal 3 0 2 2

Team line up:

Wales: L Williams; Rees-Zammit, North, Tompkins, Dyer; Costelow, T Williams; G Thomas, Lake (capt.), Francis, Rowlands, D Jenkins, Wainwright, Reffell, Faletau.

Reserves: Dee, Smith, H Thomas, Tshiunza, Basham, G Davies, Biggar , Grady.

Georgia: Khmaladze; Tabutsadze, Kveseladze, Sharikadze (capt.), Niniashvili; Matkava, Lobzhanidze; Gogichashvili, Mamukashvili, Gigashvili, Cheishvili, Mikautadze, Gachechiladze, Saginadze, Jalagonia.

Reserves: Karkadze, Abuladze, Aptsiauri, Chachanidze, Tsutskiridze, Aprasidze, Abzhandadze, Tapladze.