Georgia edge Canada in Tbilisi
Georgia edge Canada in TbilisiSHARE
Georgia secured a scrappy 19-15 victory over Canada in their clash in Tbilisi on Saturday.
Georgian fullback Merab Kvirikashvili kicked 14 points and wing Tedore Zibzibadze scored the lone try to seal the victory. All of Canada’s points came from penalties, as Liam Underwood would go three-for-four and Harry Jones went two-for-two.
The first half saw both teams exchange possession through turnovers, tactical kicking and errors. Underwood and Kvirikashvili exchanged penalties to keep the game close.
The game would take a dramatic turn at the 36-minute mark. Off a set piece, Georgian flank Viktor Kolelishvili made a dangerous high tackle on flyhalf Underwood, which caused a multi-player skirmish between both sides.
Kolelishvili and Canadian captain Ardron would each receive red cards, which would see both teams to 14 men for the remainder of the game.
Canada also lost the services of Underwood after the tackle and hooker Ray Barkwill. Benoit Piffero would replace Barkwill for his first cap for Canada and Blevins would replace Underwood.
Jones would add three points off the boot from the original penalty, giving Canada a 12-9 lead heading into half-time.
The second half, however, didn’t go Canada’s way. Tedore Zibzibadze touched down for a try in the left corner at the 51-minute mark for Georgia. The try, which would be the only score of the game, gave Georgia a 16-12 lead.
Despite a number of line breaks from the backs, including two from Conor Trainor, Canada could not cross the whitewash. Georgia maintained possession through their scrummages and lineouts, and Canada couldn’t break the home side’s defense.
Kvirikashvili added another penalty at the 61-minute mark to further the lead to 19-15 and seal the victory.
Pens: Kvirikashvili 4
Pens: Underwood 3, Jones 2
Georgia: 15 Merab Kvirikashvili, 14 Irakli Machkhaneli (captain), 13 Davit Kacharava, 12 Merab Sharikadze, 11 Tamaz Mchedlidze, 10 Lasha Khmaladze, 9 Giorgi Begadze, 8 Giorgi Chkhaidze, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 6 Viktor Kolelishvili, 5 Levan Datunashvili, 4 Konstantine Mikautadze, 3 Davit Kubriashvili, 2 Shalva Mamuka, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili.
Replacements: 16 Simon Maisuradze, 17 David Khinchagishvili, 18 Levan Chilachava, 19 Shalva Sutiashvili, 20 Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 21 Vaja Khutsishvili, 22 Tedore Zibzibadze, 23 Beka Tsiklauri.
Canada: 15 Matt Evans, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Conor Trainor, 12 Harry Jones, 11 Phil Mackenzie, 10 Liam Underwood, 9 Phil Mack, 8 Tyler Ardron (captain), 7 John Moonlight, 6 Jebb Sinclair, 5 Brett Beukeboom, 4 Jon Phelan, 3 Andrew Tiedemann, 2 Ray Barkwill, 1 Hubert Buydens.
Replacements: 16 Jake Ilnicki, 17 Djustice Sears-Duru, 18 Benoit Piffero, 19 Tyler Hotson, 20 Adam Kleeberger, 21 Jamie Mackenzie, 22 Nick Blevins, 23 James Pritchard.