Georgia outclass Italy A

(IRB.COM) Friday 20 June 2008
By Chris Thau
From Bucharest
 Georgia outclass Italy A
Georgia wing Irakli Chkhikvadze is tackled by Italy A replacement Diego Varani during Georgia's 25-3 win Photo: Mircea Gheorghe

In the second match of the final day of action at the IRB Nations Cup a fired up Georgia dissipated all speculations about the various tournament winning scenarios involving Italy A, by demolishing their highly rated opponents by two goals, one try and two penalties to one penalty goal at the Arcul de Triumf Stadium in Bucharest.

Before the Italians could draw their breath after the national anthems, the Georgians had already scored their first try through their abrasive and highly effective loose head prop David Gasviani. Though he failed with the conversion, fly half Lasha Malaguradze landed a penalty some 10 minutes later, which seemed to trigger off a belated Italian reaction. It was a period of about 10 minutes of relentless Italian attacks, which were eventually stopped by ferocious Georgian tackling.

It was the old fashion bone-crunching tackle that stopped the Italians in their tracks time and again. In the end, the Italians opted for a penalty, duly converted by their new fly half Davide Duca.

The match carried on in a similar fashion, with the Italians doing the running and Georgians absorbing the pressure and tackling like men possessed. With the first half reaching the closing stages, the Georgians found themselves in attack, and at a scum near the Italian line powered their way for a pushover try, signed off by their athletic open side flanker Irakli Gundishvili. Malaguradze converted just before half time.

After the break, as the Italian team faded, no doubt worn out by both the intensity of the match as well as the hard and merciless tackling of their opponents, the Georgian game went up a notch, with a net result of another penalty and an additional try by replacement centre Beka Tsiklauri in the closing stages of a ferociously fought encounter. The four-point win and the bonus point place Georgia provisionally in the tournament runner up position, naturally depending on the outcome of the final clash between Romania and Emerging South Africa.