6NB: Georgia Assured of Title
In the second last round of Rugby Europe’s International Championship, sometimes nicknamed the Six Nations B, Georgia look set fair for taking the title again.
After three rounds the Lelos and Portugal were level but then the Lobos astonishingly fell to the Russian Bear and Georgia are left on top of the log. Portugal’s only hope to winning is by defeating the Georgians in this round.
Spain will not like Belgium after the unpleasantness in the lead-up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup and this could be a tough clash.
Results, Round 4
Georgia vs Portugal, 39-24
Spain vs Belgium,, 30-23
Russia vs Romania, 32-25
Log after Round 4
1. Georgia 19 points
2. Portugal 9 points
3. Spain 9 points
4. Russia 8 points
5. Belgium 7 points
6. Romania 5 points
Results, Round 1
Spain vs Russia, 31-12
Georgia vs Romania, 41-13
Portugal vs Belgium, 23-17
Results, Round 2
Belgium vs Russia, 38-12
Georgia vs Spain, 23-10
Portugal vs Romania 22-11
Results, Round 3
Russia vs Portugal, 19-18 in Russia
Romania vs Spain, 24-7 in Romania
Georgia vs Brussels, 78-6 in Georgia
Portugal vs Georgia at Stade Jean-Bouin, Paris
It was Portugal’s home match. They opted to host it in Paris at Stade Français’ ground, as a chance for Portuguese emigres to see the team play. And the team did not disappoint, giving a good account of themselves against the powerful Georgians.
At one stage in the first half, Portugal led 14-12 after a magnificent 80-metre try, and with 13 minutes left on the clock they led 24-22, when disaster struck – a penalty try and a man in the sin bin. The penalty try gave Georgia a 29-24 lead after which they added two more tries against their 14 opponents.
Georgia scored first with a try credited to hooker Shalva Mamukashvili following a maul in a five-metre lineout. Ioseb Matiashvili’s conversion made it 7-0 but Manuel Pinto’s try with Dany Antunes’s conversion made it 7-7. Beka Gorgadze scored and again Portugal answered, this time with a dramatic try by Danny Antunes. He intercepted a pass two metres inside his 22 and raced down to score under the posts. That gave the Lobos the lead for the first time in the match.
Lock Diogo Ferreira burst through and galloped off well into the Lelos 22. He gave to Diogo Ferreira who scored and Portugal led 21-17.
In the seesaw match Georgia grabbed the lead with another try from a lineout maul but then Antunes goaled a penalty and Portugal had the lead at 24-22, which lasted till the penalty try.
This was Georgia’s toughest encounter so far.
The victory assures Georgia of their 13th victory in the Championship since 2003. They have Russia to play in the final round.
Tries: Mamukashvili, Gorgadze, Kacharava, maul, penalty try, Todua, Matiashvili
Cons: Matiashvili 2
Tries: Pinto, Antunes, Belo
Cons: Antunes 3
Portugal: 15 Manuel Pinto, 14 Rodrigo Marta, 13 Antonio Vidinha, 12 Tomas Appleton (captain), 11 Dany Antunes, 10 João Lima, 9 Diogo Ferreira, 8 Thibault Freitas, 7 David Carvalho, 6 João Granate, 5 Luis Batista, 4 José Madeira, 3 Diogo Ferreira, 2 Mike Tadjer, 1 Geoffrey Moise
Replacements: 16 Francisco Fernandes, 17 Lionel Campergue, 18 Eric Madeira, 19 Manuel Eusebio, 20 Pedro Lucas, 21 Caetano Branco, 22 João Freudenthal, 23 IV Morais
Coach: Patrice Lagisquet
Georgia: 15 Ioseb Matiashvili, 14 Demuri Tapladze, 13 David Kacharava, 12 Lasha Malaguradze, 11 Alexander Todua, 10 Lasha Khmaladze, 9 Giorgi Begadze, 8 Beka Gorgadze captain), 7 Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 6 Beka Saginadze, 5 Davit Gigauri, 4 Lasha Jaiani, 3 Levan Chilachava, 2 Shalva Mamukashvili, 1 Giorgi Tetrashvili
Replacements: 16 Giorgi Chkoidze, 17 Guram Gogichashvili, 18 Giorgi Melikidze, 19 Shalva Sutiashvili, 20 Tornike Jalagonia, 21 Gela Aprasidze, 22 Tedo Abzhandadze, 23 Lasha Lomidze
Coach: Levan Maisashvili
Referee: Ben Blain (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Ross Mabon (Scotland), Neil Muir (Scotland)
Citing commissioner: Richard McGhee (Scotland)
Russia vs Romania at Kuban Stadium, Krasnodar
There was a time when Romania was a great power in rugby from Portugal to Russia, skipping France. Now they find themselves beaten by Russia and bottom of the log. They are a long way from the country that attended the first eight Rugby World Cups, missing out for the first time in 2019.
This was a close encounter, as the score suggests. Five minutes before half-time, the Oaks led 13-6 but two tries by Russia put the Bears 20-13 ahead at the break.
Two tries to one in the second half assured Russia of a victory.
Tries: Zykov, Magomedov, Churashov, Gaisin
Cons: Gaisin 3
Pens: Gaisin 2
Tries: Maliepo 2, Simionescu
Cons: Vlaicu 2
Pens: Vlaicu 2
Russia: 15 Ramil Gaisin, 14 Kirill Golosnitskii, 13 Vladimir Ostroushko, 12 Dmitrii Gerasimov, 11 Nikita Churashov, 10 Iurii Kushnarev, 9 Konstantin Uzunov, 8 Viktor Gresev (captain), 7 Tagir Gadzhiev, 6 Eme Peki, 5 Egor Zykov, 4 Evgeny Elgin, 3 Kirill Gotovtsev, 2 Shamil Magomedov, 1 Valeriy Morozov
Replacements: 16 Evgenii Matveev, 17 Evgeny Mishechkin, 18 Vladimir Podrezov, 19 Mykyta Bekov, 20 Nikita Vavilin, 21 Alexey Shcherban, 22 Aleksandr Budychenko, 23 Vladislav Sozonov
Coach: Lyn Jones
Romania: 15 Ionel Melinte, 14 Marius Simionescu, 13 Moa Maliepo, 12 Florian Vlaicu, 11 Robert Neagu, 10 Daniel Plai, 9 Florin Surugiu (captain), 8 Cristi Chirica, 7 Dragos Ser, 6 Adrian Motoc, 5 Valentin Poparlan, 4 Johan van Heerden, 3 Horatiu Pungea, 2 Eugen Capatina, 1 Alexandru Savin
Replacements: 16 Ovidiu Cojocaru, 17 Ionel Badiu, 18 Kamil Sobota, 19 Adrian Ion, 20 Gabriel Rupanu, 21 Vladut Popa, 22 Tudor Boldor, 23 Costel Burtila
Coach: Andy Robinson
Referee: Dan Jones (Wales)
Assistant referees: Mike English, Tom Spurrier
Citing commissioner: Wayne Sheridan (Ireland)
Belgium vs Spain at Fallon Stadium, Brussels
Spain developed a 13-0 lead in the first half, thanks to two penalty goals and a conversion by flyhalf Andrea Rábago and a try by outside centre Nicolas Nieto. A try from a maul by Belgian made the half-time score 13-7.
Then in the second half, the home side kicked a penalty, then their lock scored a try and then Alan Williams dropped a goal to put them 20-13 in the lead.
After that the game belonged to Spain as they scored three tries to lead 30-23. Just before the end Belgium goaled a penalty to give them a losing bonus point at 30-23.
Tries: Nieto 2, Casteglioni, Del-Hoyo
Cons: Rábago 2
Pens: Rábago 2
**Black numbers on black jerseys made identification too uncertain.
Cons: Williams 2
Pens: Williams 2
Belgium: 15 Craig Dowsett, 14 Nathan Bontems, 13, 12 Guillaume Piron, 11 Thomas Wallraf, 10 Alan Williams, 9 Julien Berger, 8 Thomas De-Molder, 7 Jean-Maurice Decubber, 6 Lucas De-Coninck, 5 Gillian Benoy, 4 Mathieu Verschelden, 3 Maxime Jadot, 2 Thomas Dienst (captain), 1 Alexis Cuffolo
Replacements: 16 Martin Jessen, 17 Julien Massimi, 18 Bertrand Billi, 19 William Van-Bost, 20 Tom Cocqu, 21 Antoine Vassart, 22 Gaspard Lalli, 23 Bruno Vliegen
Coach: Guillaume Ajac
Spain: 15 Federico Casteglioni, 14 Julen Goia (captain), 13 Nicolas Nieto, 12 Andrea Rábago, 11 Ignacio Contardi, 10 Lucas Rubio, 9 Guillame Rouet, 8 Lionel-Afase Tauli, 7 Victor Sanchez, 6 Lucas Guillame, 5 Michael Walker-Fitton, 4 Manuel Mora, 3 Albert Blanco, 2 Marco Pinto, 1 Thierry Futeu
Replacements: 16 Jose Diaz, 17 Vicente Del-Hoyo, 18 Jon Zabala, 19 David Barrera, 20 Michael Hogg, 21 Kerman Aurrekoetxea, 22 Gonzalo Vinuesa, 23 Hugo Alonso
Coach: Santiago Santos
Referee: Seán Gallagher (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Chris Busby (Ireland), John Carvill (Ireland)
Citing commissioner: Philippe Marguin (France)