Ben Donaldson scored two tries and 25 points as Australia earned its first win of the year with a 35-15 victory over Georgia at the Rugby World Cup on Saturday.
The 21-year-old Donaldson was making his first test start at fullback and also took on the kicking duties, converting all six of his attempts.
“We had a game plan and it worked,” Donaldson said. “I just tried to provide a loud voice and a big boot at the back.”
Coach Eddie Jones was delighted with Donaldson’s performance and said he had been confident in the youngster’s ability.
“We knew what he was capable of,” Jones said. “His long kick was invaluable and he’s a very good decision-maker. His goalkicking was first class.”
The Wallabies’ five-test losing run before the match had raised doubts about their chances against Georgia, but they put those concerns to bed with a dominant performance.
They scored four tries to two and also picked up a bonus point, which will be important in the race to qualify for the knockout stages.
The turning point in the match came in the 57th minute when Georgia fullback Davit Niniashvili broke through but ignored three teammates on his inside and took the tackle. His offload went to Australia prop Taniela Tupou, who showed skill with a little lob to Donaldson to run in untouched.
Instead of potentially trailing 21-15, Georgia was 28-8 behind and victory was out of reach.
The Lelos did press to the end and scored a late converted try through prop Beka Gigashvili, but it was too little too late.
“We came back in the second half, but we made too many mistakes,” Georgia coach Levan Maisashvili said. “We have a lot of things to analyse.”
The Wallabies will next face Fiji on September 17, while Georgia have two weeks before playing Portugal.