It was the antithesis of pretty but the Wallabies have grinded out a 27-8 victory over Georgia in their final pool game which saw fullback Kurtley Beale leave the field in the first half with a head knock that could put him in doubt for a quarter-final clash next week against England.
Georgia's stoic defence prevented the Wallabies from piling on the kind of points onlookers may have expected given the disparity between the sides in the world rankings.
Australia led 17-3 in the 60th minute after a superb 52-metre solo effort from a zigzagging Marika Koroibete but Georgia hit back with a five-pointer 10 minutes out from full-time.
Late tries to Jack Dempsey and Will Genia brought the margin back out and ensured Australia snared a bonus point.
The four-tries-to-one result was Australia's biggest and smallest win over Georgia, having never faced each other before in a Test. There was major concern, however, when Beale did not rise from the bottom of a breakdown in the 14th minute. He appeared groggy and took a few minutes to leave the field. After being assessed, he did not return.
An eight-day turnaround before a quarter-final in Oita may help the Wallabies in terms of return to play protocols but one can't help feel the storyline of next week will be whether Beale - on his day able to slice and dice any defensive line in world rugby - will be given the green light to play.
The Wallabies went to the top of Pool D following their third win from four starts but will be almost certainly be leapfrogged by Wales unless the northern hemisphere side loses to minnows Uruguay on Sunday.
Even before kick-off, the beginning of the typhoon's wrath was felt. Heavy rain drops bashed the pavement a full 24 hours before the full brunt of the storm was supposed to hit the country.
The Wallabies would want to hope the weather isn't wet in Oita next week, otherwise their one-dimensional game plan might bring about their downfall and a premature World Cup exit.
Knock-ons were frequent as both sides struggled to build phases and handle a slippery ball because of rain, not humidity, like in other fixtures at this tournament.
Stand-in captain David Pocock was dangerous at the breakdown, managing two turnovers, while Toomua impressed in his first start of the World Cup at No.10.
Halfback Nic White provided energy and crisp service in trying conditions in a performance that all but cemented his spot in the knockout stages which also saw him score Australia's only try of the opening 40 minutes.
From the outset Australia clearly wanted the keep the ball in hand and after 30 minutes had more than 80 per cent possession and territory with only a 7-3 lead to their name.
A 42-metre Matt Toomua penalty drew Australia ahead 10-3 at the break to bring an end a half of rugby that saw Georgia make more than 100 more tackles than Australia (128 to 27).
The Wallabies' mission to not give away easy penalties did not start well as Toomua was pinned for a high tackle in the first five minutes, after a late intervention from the TMO. Then when No.8 Isi Naisarani was sent to the sin-bin in the 35 minute for a lazy high shot on Mamuka Gorgodze, the steam would have been coming out of Cheika's ears given it was his side's third yellow card in 100 minutes of rugby. By full-time Australia had conceded seven penalties to Georgia's 15.
Rob Simmons' introduction in the 58th minute saw him bring up his 100th Test appearance.
- SMH/The Age