Tonga v Georgia (Pool C): 9.30pm, Saturday, September 19 at Kingsholm, Gloucester
Tonga is an outside chance of finishing second in Pool C after the All Blacks, but the well-dressed Islanders must overcome a tricky opponent in Georgia before they set their sights on upsetting Argentina for a quarters berth.
After a solid showing in July’s Pacific Nations Cup, the Nili Latu-captained Tongan side edged lowly Romania 21-16 a fortnight ago, but there has been six changes made to that line-up. Georgia signalled their intentions for the Cup with narrow losses to Canada and Japan in early-September. Amongst a vastly experienced line-up (combined 617 Test caps) will be 18-year-old debutant halfback Vasil Lobzhanidze.
The nations have clashed three times, winning one match apiece during 1999 World Cup qualifying, while Tonga prevailed 23-9 in November last year. If Tonga maintain their discipline, they should have too much attacking firepower for the forward-oriented Georgians.