Argentina vs. Georgia: Preview, Live Stream, TV Info for Rugby World Cup Game

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2015

Argentina's Juan Martin Hernandez runs out of the tackle of New Zealand's Conrad Smith during a match of the Rugby Championship at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT
Ross Setford/Associated Press

Argentina are under pressure to make a quick recovery from an opening defeat to New Zealand and will face Georgia this Friday with the hope of claiming their first Rugby World Cup 2015 victory.

Milton Haig's men currently sit above the Pumas in the Pool C standings after beating Tonga 17-10 in their tournament opener, but a determined Argentina side will pose stiff competition.

Daniel Hourcade's men were slightly unfortunate not to claim so much as a losing bonus point against the All Blacks, where it was the power of the reigning champions' substantial bench that set the two teams apart.

Understandably content with their seven-point win at Kingsholm in Gloucester last Saturday, Georgia have named the same XV to take on Argentina, while the South Americans have made three changes to their lineup.

Read on for a breakdown of all the vital viewing information needed to catch Friday's tie, along with form guide and discussion of which players to watch out for.

Date: Friday, September 25

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Time: 4:45 p.m. BST/11:45 a.m. ET/(Sat., Sept. 26)1:45 a.m. AEST/3:45 a.m. NZST

Venue: Kingsholm, Gloucester

Live Stream: ITV Player (UK), Universal Sports (US), Fox Sports (AUS), Sky Go (NZ), SuperSport (SA)

TV Info: ITV (UK), Fox Sports 2 (AUS), Sky Sport 1 (NZ), SuperSport 1 (SA)

Team Lineups

Argentina: 15. Joaquin Tuculet, 14. Santiago Cordero, 13. Marcelo Bosch, 12. Juan Martin Hernandez, 11. Juan Imhoff, 10. Nicolas Sanchez, 9. Tomas Cubelli, 8. Leonardo Senatore, 7. Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 6. Pablo Matera, 5. Tomas Lavanini, 4. Guido Petti, 3. Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2. Agustin Creevy (C), 1. Marcos Ayerza

Georgia: 15. Merab Kvirikashvili, 14. Tamaz Mchedlidze, 13. Davit Kacharava, 12. Merab Sharikadze, 11. Giorgi Aptsiauri, 10. Lasha Malaguradze, 9. Vasil Lobzhanidze, 8. Mamuka Gorgodze (C), 7. Viktor Kolelishvili, 6. Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 5. Konstantin Mikautadze, 4. Giorgi Nemsadze, 3. Davit Zirakashvili, 2. Jaba Bregvadze, 1. Mikheil Nariashvili

Argentina Form Guide
DateResult
September 20, 2015Argentina 16-26 New Zealand
August 15, 2015Argentina 12-26 South Africa
August 8, 2015South Africa 25-37 Argentina
July 25, 2015Argentina 9-34 Australia
July 17, 2015New Zealand 39-18 Argentina
ESPN Scrum
Georgia Form Guide
DateResult
September 19, 2015Georgia 17-10 Tonga
September 5, 2015Georgia 10-13 Japan
September 2, 2015Canada 16-15 Georgia
March 21, 2015Romania 6-15 Georgia
March 14, 2015Georgia 33-0 Russia
ESPN Scrum

Players to Watch

Juan Martin Hernandez

The result didn't go as he might have liked, but Juan Martin Hernandez couldn't help but leave some sections of Wembley in awe against the All Blacks thanks to his usual injection of the special and sublime.

Blink and you could have missed one of the Argentinian playmaker's no-look passes or flicks through the legs, but Andy McGeady of the Irish Times was quick to point out his showcase of skill:

Georgia's win over Tonga was the kind of brutish display one might expect from a team who operate best through their forwards, where they saw a tiny 17 percent of the second-half possession, per ESPN Scrum.

It seems only a short while ago Hernandez was having a massive impact at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, where Argentina finished third, but ESPN Scrum's Tom Hamilton hasn't forgotten his Midas touch:

Injury unfortunately ruled him out of the 2011 tournament, meaning the man nicknamed "El Mago" (The Magician) is making up for lost time to impress this year.

If Georgia show as many sluggish periods against the Pumas on Friday, one can expect Hernandez to run rampant, with a bag full of tricks ready to be unleashed upon a side likely to buy all that he's selling.

Betting Guide
ResultOdds
Argentina Win1-14
Draw33-1
Georgia Win9-1
Anytime Tryscorer - Juan Imhoff4-7
Oddschecker.com

Vasil Lobzhanidze

It can often be the case that "smaller" nations are found lacking in the technical positions, but Georgia appear to have a real gem on their hands in the form of scrum-half record-breaker Vasil Lobzhanidze.

As confirmed by OptaJonny, the teenager became the youngest player ever to feature in a Rugby World Cup after starting against Tonga last Saturday, showing just how highly he's thought of in the national team:

Despite his age seeming a supposed disadvantage, Lobzhanidze was as confident and wily as anyone else against the Tongans, providing his back line with a steadied hand for great stretches of the win.

Whatever pressure the 18-year-old might have felt at Kingsholm will be doubled when he returns to Gloucester against the Pumas, who will assuredly pose a much fiercer opponent to outwit.

If intimidation gets the better of Lobzhanidze and his chain of ammunition breaks down, Georgia risk falling back solely on the play of their forwards, which Argentina will find far easier to combat.