By Andrew Hogan
Argentina Jaguars won the Tbilisi Cup in style following a 41-7 victory over Spain on Sunday.
The Argentinians scored five tries to one but found the second half challenging as the courageous Spanish fought back well to finish the tournament on a positive note.
"We are really happy to win the trophy, it has been a good tournament for us and has been a great experience for our players, especially our young players," said Jaguars head coach Bernardo Urdanetta.
"Fair play to Spain, they showed their talents in that second half and made it difficult for us. For my players now they need to grow from this and use it as a platform to push for senior honours."
The Jaguars were the overwhelming favourites going into the match and that was evident early on. Sebasitian Poet kicked two early penalty goals before winger Facundo Barrea finished off a fantastic team try that saw precise handling and offloading in the build up.
Marcos Bollini sniped down the short side after Spain turned the ball over in their own 22 to score the Jaguars' second try, which Poet again converted.
Poet made it five kicks from five when he improved Dan Isacck's well-taken individual try after the half hour mark.
The Jaguars kept playing at a good tempo and Spain found it hard to live with, especially after they lost a man to the sin-bin. The man advantage paid dividends for the Jaguars who claimed the bonus point try with a pushover try for captain Lisandro Ahaulli. Poet's sixth successful kick made it 34-0 at half-time.
Credit to Spain, they showed tremendous heart in the second half to fight their way back into the contest. A well-executed driving maul 10 metres out from the Jaguars try line ended in a try for second row forward Alejandro Blanco. Fly half Mariano Garcia added the extras to make it 34-7.
Buoyed by their first score, the Spanish set up camp in the South Americans' 22 and came close to scoring a second try only to be denied by last ditch Jaguars defence.
The Argentinian conditioning showed in the end as they absorbed pressure and when the opportunity came they were able to cross for their fifth try through fly half Poet. Poet converted his own try to make the final score 41-7.
Spanish captain Pablo Feijoo said: "The first half was tough, we had the wind against us which made it hard to play and they were very strong in attack and scored 30 points. In the second half we worked hard and counter attacked well and showed what we are capable of. We scored one good try and perhaps could of had a few more. It was tight in that second half and we are happy with that. We need to learn from this type of competition, the level is very high and playing against these teams will only benefit us."
Argentina Jaguars: 15. Ramiro Moyano; 14. Facundo Barrea; 13. Juan Ignacio Brex;12. Javier Rojas; 11. Dan Isacck; 10. Sebastian Poet; 9. Marcos Bollini; 1. Santiago Garcia Botta; 2. Tomas Baravalle; 3. Gaston Cortes; 4.Franco Baldwin; 5. Lucas Ponce; 6. Lucas Maguire; 7. Lautaro Casado; 8. Lisandro Ahaulli ©
Replacements: 16. Damian Arias; 17. Nahuel Lobo; 18. Nicolas Proto; 19. Facundo Isa; 20. Gonzalo Guitierrez Taboada; 21. Matias Masera; 22. Juan Cappiello
Spain: 15. Javier Carrion; 14. Alberto Diaz; 13. Pablo Fontes; 12. Daniel Ross Snee; 11. Segio Fernanadez; 10. Mariano Garcia; 9. Pablo Feijoo ©; 1. Francisco Javier Sanz; 2. Juan Anaya; 3. Jesus Moreno;4.Alejandro Blanco; 5. Manuel Mora; 6. Javier De Juan; 7. Jose Luis Del Valle; 8. Adam Newton
Replacements: 16. Guillermo Espinos; 17. Romain Asensi; 18. Agustin Ortiz; 19. Francisco Blanco; 20. Ignacio Molina; 21. Alejandro Gutierrez; 22. Facundo Munilla
Scoring sequence (Argentina Jaguars first): 3-0, 6-0, 13-0, 20-0, 27-0, 34-0 HT, 34-7, 41-7
Scorers: Argentina Jaguars: Tries: Barrea(16), Bollini (27), Isacck (32), Ahaulli (39), Poet (72); Penalties: Poet (8, 14); Conversions: Poet (5); Spain: Tries: Blanco (49); Conversions: Garcia
Referee: Luke Pearce
Bonus point Georgia see off Emerging Italy
Georgia 34-10 Emerging Italy
Georgia prevailed 34 points to 10 against Emerging Italy in the first match this afternoon to claim second place in the Tbilisi Cup.
One first half try and three further second half scores, including two penalty tries, were enough for victory.
Georgia dominated the first half. They had all the territory and possession and registered 13 points for their efforts.
With a significant wind behind them the Lelos were on the board within 14 minutes with a penalty goal from over 50 metres from fly half Lasha Malaguradze. The hosts had earlier declined kicking for goal in favour of a set piece.
A three-point lead soon became six when the ball became loose and was scooped up by full back Beka Tsiklauri who struck over an opportunistic drop goal from just outside the 22.
The first try of the match came just before half-time and was the second in two matches for loose head prop Zurab Zhvania who dived over from close range. Malaguradze added the extras to give Georgia a 13-0 lead at the break.
The second half resumed with Georgia again dominating the contest. They came within a whisker of their second try after a great scrummage only to knock the ball on at the vital moment. They made amends moments later by scrummaging the Italians off their own ball and were awarded a penalty try. Malaguradze kicked the straightforward conversion to extend the lead to 20-0.
Emerging Italy were struggling at their own set piece and only six minutes after conceding their first penalty try they conceded a second. Another dominant Georgian scrum five metres out from the Italian line ended in the same fate. Fly half Malaguradze again added the conversion to stretch his side clear at 27-0.
James Ambrosini got Emerging Italy on the scoreboard after 55 minutes with a penalty goal from just in front of the posts. However the Georgians had the bonus point try in the bag shortly after when winger Muraz Giorgadze anticipated a wide pass and intercepted the ball to run in from 35 metres.
Andrea Cavinato's side kept persevering and were rewarded with a consolation try from replacement back row forward Gabrielle Cicchinelli who used his strength to score what proved to be the final points with 12 minutes remaining.
Georgia Head Coach, Milton Haig, was impressed with the effort of his forward pack in the victory. "I was very impressed with our scrum, we were very solid there," he said. "Davit Kubriashvili played really well and he anchored our scrum and I think that was the difference because we put them under pressure at in that areas and we got a couple of tries too.
"We are still a little bit guilty of trying to play to much at times and in the end a lack of execution and skill set let us down a little. It was important for us to finish this tournament well and a 20-point win for us is a very satisfactory way to end. The boys are pleased with themselves and know that we could have won the tournament if we had performed a little bit better in the midweek game with Argentina."
Reflecting on his side's defeat, Emerging Italy head coach Marius Goosen said: "As a group our players learnt a big lesson today. The Georgians imposed their physicality and we found it difficult to find a way into the match. The squad will be better for the experience and learn from today. I would like to thank the Georgians for their hospitality throughout the tournament, it has been fantastic experience for the squad and coaches."
Georgia: 15. Beka Tsiklauri; 14. Muraz Giorgadze; 13. Merab Sharikadze; 12. Revaz Gigauri;11. Alexander Todua; 10. Lasha Malaguradze; 9. Giorgi Begadze; 1. Zurab Zhvania; 2. Shalva Mamukashvili; 3. Davit Kubriashvili; 4. Giorgi Nemsadze; 5. Kote Mikautadze; 6. Shalva Sutiashvili ©; 7. Giorgi Tkhilaishvili; 8. Beka Bitsadze
Replacements: 16. Guram Kavtidze; 17. Elizbar Quparadze 18. Lasha Lomidze; 19. Givi Berishvili; 20. Dimitri Basilaia; 21. Giorgi Rokhvadze 22. Tamaz Mchedidze
Emerging Italy: 15. David Michael Odiete; 14. Simone Ragusi,13. Tommaso Boni; 12.Tommaso Castello ©, 11. Michele Visentin; 10. James Ambrosini; 9. Marcello Violi; 1. Andrea Lovotti; 2. Ornel Gega; 3. Lorenzo Romano; 4. Filippo Gerosa; 5. Michele Andreotti; 6. Maxime Mbanda’; 7. Emiliano Caffini; 8. Matteo Ferro
Replacements: 16. Giovanni Scalvi; 17. Luca Scarsini; 18. Rudy Biancotti; 19. Jacapo Sarto; 20. Gabrielle Cicchinelli; 21. Carlo Canna; 22. Enrico Bacchin
Scoring sequence (Georgia first): 3-0, 6-0, 13-0 HT, 20-0, 27-0, 27-3, 34-3, 34-10
Scorers: Georgia: Tries: Zhvania (30), Penalty Try (48, 54); Penalties: Malaguradze (14); Drop Goals: Tsiklauri (19); Conversions: Malaguradze; Emerging Italy: Tries: Cicchinelli (68); Penalties: Ambrosini (56); Conversions: Ambrosini
Referee: Dudley Phillips
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