England's George Ford during the Rugby World Cup 2023 Pool D between England and Argentina, in Marseille, southern France, 09 September 2023. EFE-EPA/SEBASTIEN NOGIER

Wallabies, Ireland make World Cup statements, Los Pumas misfire

Sports Desk, Sep 9 (EFE).- The Argentine rugby team, semi-finalists in 2015, started the World Cup in France with defeat after losing Saturday in Marseille by 27-10 against England, as Australia outfoxed Georgia and Ireland thumped Romania.

Australia's Lalakai Foketi (C) gestures after winning the Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Georgia in Saint-Denis, near Paris, France, 09 September 2023. EFE-EPA/TERESA SUAREZ

The 27 points England’s George Ford scored, including three drop goals and six penalties, nullified the numerical superiority the Argentine team enjoyed for almost 77 minutes due to the red card to flanker Tom Curry.

Ireland's James Lowe in action during the Rugby World Cup Pool B match between Ireland vs Roumania in Bordeaux, France, 09 September 2023. EFE-EPA/Caroline Blumberg

But things didn’t take long to go wrong for the Argentine team, who three minutes later saw kicker Emiliano Bofelli miss the opportunity to double the Pumas’ lead by missing a penalty shot from 50 meters out.

Oppositely, George Ford began his kicking after 10 minutes by converting the first of the six penalty shots he scored throughout the match and ended the Argentine dream.

But the flyhalf not only showed his good kicking from the tee – he scored three drop goals in the first half that allowed England to reach the break with a lead of nine points 12-3.

Ford continued to convert kickable penalties in the second half, making the most of Argentina’s poor discipline and making it 27-3, nullifying Rodrigo Bruno’s last try, which established the final 27-10 at one minute for the end.

Australia, champions in 1991 and 1999, began its journey in the World Cup in France, after beating Georgia 35-15 on Saturday in Paris thanks to an effective Ben Donaldson who scored 25 of the 35 points of the oceanic complex.

A figure that seemed to agree with the Wallabies coach, Eddie Jones, who surprised everyone with his decision to give the starting role to Donaldson, who barely had three caps, to the detriment of Andrew Kellaway.

And as the coach said, the fullback’s precision was key, as he did not miss a single kick in the match, a plus for the young Australian team.

Donaldson was not only infallible with his foot, but also contributed to the victory with two tries in the second half, which put the Wallabies at a resounding score of 33-8 with 10 minutes remaining.

That’s when Georgia, a team that despite its continued progression has still not taken that step forward that would consolidate it among the greats of world rugby, scored its second try in the match and minimally made up for its defeat as reflected by the 35-15 final score.

Ireland, one of the great favorites of the tournament, made its statement Saturday and easily defeated Romania 82-8, in its first game.

The men in green scored a frightening 12 tries throughout the match, held in Bordeaux, which was contested by teams in the complicated group B.

Veteran fly-half Johnny Sexton, playing his last World Cup before retiring, made a stellar return from suspension – confirmed by the applause from the Irish stands when he was substituted in the 66th minute – scoring two tries and seven conversions.

Tadhg Beirne, Bundee Aki and Peter O’Mahony also scored two tries each with the rest going to Jamison Gibson-Park, Hugo Keenan, Rob Herring and Joe McCarthy.

Jack Crowley, Sexton’s replacement, added four transformations in the final stretch of the game.

Romania, 19th in the world rankings, only added to its score with a very quick first try, as soon as the match began, by Gabriel Rupanu and a penalty kick a little later kicked by the same player. EFE