By Andrew Hogan in Tbilisi
South Africa President’s XV won the inaugural IRB Tbilisi Cup with a hard fought 21-16 win over a spirited Georgia outfit.
The South Africans scored two tries to one to complete a hat-trick of victories in the tournament and become the first team to lay their hands on the trophy.
The first half of the match was the most physical of the tournament to date, with the South Africans surprisingly out muscled.
Despite solid defence, based on quick line speed, Georgia found themselves trailing 6-0 following two well-struck penalties from the boot of Carl Bezuidenhout.
The next 20 minutes belonged to the home side. Beka Tsiklauri kicked a difficult long range penalty to cut the deficit to three points before the Georgian pack stamped their authority on the match.
A surge by the forwards from 15 metres out resulted in a try for Levan Chilachava, which was greeted by rapturous applause from the partisan home crowd. Beka Tsiklauri converted to put the Lelos in front.
Bezuidenhout and Tsiklauri traded penalties before Rosko Specman came off his wing and glided through the hosts' defence to put his side back in front. Bezuidenhout kicked the resulting conversion to make it 16-13 to South Africa President’s XV at half time.
With the wind at their backs in the second half the Lelos quickly levelled the scores after a third penalty for winger, Tsiklauri.
South Africa President’s XV then began to control the tempo of the match, making full use of the limited possession they had in ‘the red zone’. Eduan van der Walt bundled his way over the line for the match - and tournament - sealing try.
Georgia coach pleased with commitment
Georgia coach, Milton Haig commented: “I was pleased with the commitment the boys showed. I know there were a lot of people that thought we would lose convincingly today and that hasn’t happened. The players went out there and equipped themselves really well.
“The lineout was a little inaccurate but you have to give South Africa credit for that too. You can’t win these types of games if you don’t get your set piece right so we will certainly go back and have a look at that.”
Jimmy Stonehouse, the victorious South Africa President’s XV coach, said: “We are delighted to get the victory and win the tournament overall. It was a physical battle and I was quite impressed with the performance. The tournament has been an excellent developmental tool for our players and will be fantastic for their progression as players.”
Scoring sequence (Georgia first): 0-3, 0-6, 3-6, 10-6, 10-9, 13-9, 13-16, 16-16, 16-21
South Africa President’s XV: Penalties: Bezuidenhout (2, 6, 21), Tries: Specman (36), Van der Walt (57) ; Conversions: Bezuidenhout.
Georgia: Penalties: Tsiklauri (11, 28, 46), Tries: Chilachava (19), Conversions: Tsiklauri.
South African President’s XV
15. Coenie van Wyk (rep: Stefan Watermeyer, 40) ; 14. Alshaun Bock; 13. Willmaure Louw; 12. Adriaan Engelbrecht; 11. Rosko Specman; 10. Carl Bezuidenhout; 9. Sinovuyo Nyoka (rep: Kebe Ntando, 71) ; 1. Vincent Koch; 2. Frank Herne (rep: Ashton Constant, 12 rep: Ivan Espag, 74)); 3. Ivann Espag (rep: Martin Dreyer, 52); 4. Eduan van der Walt; 5. Brendan Strydom (Captain) (rep: Giant Mtyanda, 71) ; 6. Jaco Bouwer; 7. Uzair Cassiem; 8. Renaldo Bothma
Replacements: 16. Ashton Constant; 17. Martin Dreyer; 18. Giant Mtyanda; 19. Brian Shabangu; 20. Kebe Ntando; 21. Stefan Watermeyer; 22. Jerome Pretorius
15. Irakli Kiasashvili; 14. Beka Tsiklauri; 13. Davit Kacharava (Captain); 12. Tamaz Mchedlidze (rep: Revaz Jinchvelashvili, 75) ; 11. Todua Aleksandre (rep: Zurab Dzneladze, 62); 10. Lasha Malaguradze, 9. Vazha Khutsishvili (rep: Giorgi Rokhvadze, 62); 1. Anton Peikrishvili (rep: Levan Chilachava, 68) ; 2. Shalva Mamaukashvili (rep: Revaz Belkania, 40); 3. Levan Chilachava (rep: Giorgi Tetrashvili,52); 4. Vakhtang Maisuradze(rep: Simon Maisuradze, 58); 5. Kote Mikautadze; 6. Giorgi Nemsadze; 7. Givi Berishvili (rep: Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 15) ; 8. Beka Bitsadze
Replacements: 16. Revaz Belkania; 17. Giorgi Tetrashvili; 18. Simon Maisuradze; 19. Giorgi Tkhilaishvili; 20. Giorgi Rokhvadze; 21. Revaz Jinchvelashvili; 22. Zurab Dzneladze
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon
Emerging Ireland claim victory over Uruguay in try fest
Emerging Ireland scored six tries to Uruguay’s five to win the final match of the Tbilisi Cup, 42-33, in the heat of the Georgian capital city.
The Irish made a lively start to the match and scored two tries in the opening 10 minutes. Tiernan O’Halloran finished off a great team try to get the scoreboard rolling on four minutes before fly half Ian Keatley crossed for a try on nine minutes. The young fly half added both conversions to see Emerging Ireland 14-0 ahead.
Uruguay fought back and scored their first try of the tournament with number 8, Juan Gaminara, diving over in the corner after a fantastic effort from the forward pack. Jeronimo Etcheverry converted from out wide to cut the Irish lead to seven points.
Keatley crosses for his second
Emerging Ireland were throwing the ball around and scored a third try when Ian Keatley sold the Uruguayans a dummy and touched down for his second try. He converted to make it 21-7 and that is how the scoreline remained until half time.
Emerging Ireland started the second half the same way they started the first and scored their bonus point try on 43 minutes with Niall Morris intercepting the ball to run in from 50 metres for his first try of the tournament.
The Leicester winger was in for his second five minutes later darting past six defenders to dot down next to the posts. Keatley kept up his impeccable kicking display to make it 35-7.
The Uruguayans dominated the final half an hour and played some scintillating rugby. The width that had been lacking from their attacking play in the first two matches was very evident in the last 30 minutes. Rodrigo Espiga and German Albanell crossed for tries to bring the South Americans back into the contest.
In between the two Uruguay tries, Emerging Ireland replacement hooker, Niall Annett, crossed for a well worked try from a line out move.
Uruguay finish with a flurry
Uruguay finished with a flurry of tries to sign off the tournament with some great rugby. Alberto Roman and then Juan De Freitas crossed to make the final score 42-33.
Uruguay coach Pablo Lemoine was happy with his side’s second half performance, but was disappointed that they did not make the most of the chances they had. He said: “I was extremely happy with our second half display. In the first half we watched Ireland play and made mistakes that allowed them to take control of the game.
“It was a good game but we were hoping for a better result. We are solid in certain areas of the game but need to work on other areas. We know what these areas are and will work hard on them."
Emerging Ireland coach Allen Clark said: “We were really good for 50 minutes, scored some fantastic tries, but in the last 30 (minutes) we were second best. We have to learn the lessons from that. You cannot make the mistakes we made and expect the opposition not to score against you. Overall, I am pleased for the lads in getting the win, we have to look at the positives but also learn from where we need to improve.”
Scoring sequence (Uruguay first): 0-7, 0-14, 7-14, 7-21, 7-28, 7-35, 14-35, 14-42, 21-42, 26-42, 33-42
Ireland: Tries: O’Halloran (4), Keatley (9, 17), Morris (43, 48), Annett (56); Conversions: Keatley (6); Uruguay: tries: Gaminara (13), Espiga (52,),Albanell (60), Roman(66), De Freitas (80) ; Conversions: Etcheverry , Prada (3)
15. David Kearney (rep: Peter Nelson, 50); 14. Niall Morris; 13. Eoin Griffin; 12. Noel Reid (rep: Michael Allen, 19); 11. Tiernan O’Halloran; 10. Ian Keatley; 9. John Cooney (rep: Michael Heaney, 33); 1. Jack McGrath (rep: Richard Lutton, 50); 2. Rob Herring (rep: Niall Annett, 50) ; 3. Michael Bent ; 4. David O’Callaghan; 5. David Foley (rep: Ian Nagle, 50); 6. Rhys Ruddock (Captain); 7. Jordi Murphy; 8. Eoin McKeon (rep: Dominic Ryan, 58).
Replacements: 16. Niall Annett; 17. Richard Lutton; 18. Ian Nagle; 19. Dominic Ryan; 20. Michael Heaney; 21. Michael Allen; 22. Peter Nelson.
15. Jeronimo Etcheverry (rep: Agustin Del Castillo, 52); 14. Gaston Gubernau; 13. Leandro Leivas; 12. Alberto Roman; 11. Pablo Bueno; 10. Joaquin Prada; 9. Alejo Duran; 1. Alejo Corral (rep: Rodolfo De Mula, 50); 2. Arturo Avalo (Captain) (rep: Nicolas Klappenbach, 45); 3. Mario Sagario (rep: Gaston Barburu, 74) ; 4. Rodrigo Espiga (rep: Jose Coronel, 68); 5. Franco Lamanna; 6. Juan De; 7. Fernando Bascou Freitas (rep: Juan Tasistro, 50); 8. Juan Gaminara
Replacements: 16. Nicolas Klappenbach; 17. Rodolfo De Mula; 18. Gaston Barburu; 19. Jose Coronel; 20. Juan Tasistro; 21. Agustin Del Castillo; 22. German Albanell.
Referee: Vlad Iordachescu