Argentina scraped to the 2011 Rugby World Cup quarterfinals where they are scheduled to meet New Zealand after overcoming Georgia by 25-7 in the last Pool B match at the Arena Manawatu.
Argentina had a nervous start against the 14th ranked Georgia, although they needed a single point to play in the quarterfinals. Both nations played defensively until the 32nd minute when the Pumas left wing Juan José Imhoff found a gap for a try.
Argentinean captain, Felipe Contepomi admitted his men struggled to find flow till the 40th minute but found themselves settled after drawing first blood. He said, “We couldn't find a way to break through in the first half. We couldn't score when we had to.”
Georgia’s Lasha Khmaladze was the lone scorer with a try in the 39th minute. It was Malkhaz Urjukashvili who successfully converted to put the Lelos in front by 7-5 at half-time.
A disappointed Georgian prop David Kubriashvili admitted failure in capitalizing on an early lead. “It's a shame because we played well and in the end they scored two tries,” he said. “I don't like the final score, it's not good and it does not reflect the way we have played. We played this match to win it, so it is disappointing.”
Imhoff who scored the first try, articulated on the Puma’s main weakness saying his team fumbled the ball too much. Argentina had 9 handling errors in 80 minutes in comparison to Georgia’s 8. “Georgia played very well and we made a lot of errors which cost us some points,” he said.
Georgian coach, Richard Dixon was unhappy with the way his men performed in the last match of the campaign. The Scot said, “I was very disappointed with the outcome of this match. We didn't get as much out of the game as what we put into it. I thought that we were very much in this game. But the score line flatters them (Argentina).”
Argentina were callous in both halves of the match, nonetheless they were satisfied with the 2 tries they had in the last 15 minutes of the match that increased their lead. “Thankfully, we scored some tries and we won,” said Contepomi.
Contepomi confessed his men made mistakes. “We have a lot to do in the next week,” he said. “We are thrilled that we went through but now we have to work hard.”