World Cup - Gorgodze hands Georgia win

Wed, 28 Sep 09:20:00 2011

Georgia openside flanker Mamuka Gorgodze scored his side's only try as they won just their second rugby World Cup match when they beat Romania 25-9 in Pool B at Arena Manawatu in Palmerston North.

Georgia's Mamuka Gorgodze (L) scores a try during their Rugby World Cup Pool B match against Romania at Arena Manawatu in Palmerston North - 0

As Georgia celebrated a second victory in a World Cup game, the loss consigns the Romanians to last place in the pool and marks only the second time in seven appearances that they have failed to win a match at the tournament.

"We wished so much to win this game," Romania coach Romeo Stefan Gontineac said. "We had a very good first half and the Georgians had a good second half and the score tells (the story).

"I think at the end, we were more tired than Georgia. In the last 15-20 minutes, we saw a lot of guys who were very tired, so that could be one of the causes (for the loss). The match never reached any great heights with both teams intent on spoiling their opponent's ball to halt any momentum and accepting the consequences.

Referee Dave Pearson was an influential figure, awarding 14 penalties in the first half and 22 in total.

Georgia fly-half Merab Kvirikashvili took full advantage of Romania's transgressions in the first half, slotting four penalties to give his side a 12-6 lead at the break after Romanian fly-half Marin Danut Dumbrava landed two of his three penalty attempts.

Both sides missed early second half penalty kicks before the Georgians finally built some phases through quick ball that led to Gorgodze crashing over for a 56th minute try, which Kvirikashvili converted to give his side a 19-6 lead.

The fly-half put the result beyond doubt when he added his fifth penalty before Romania's Florin Adrian Vlaicu slotted his side's third penalty of the match.

Georgia replacement Malkhaz Urjukashvili completed the scoring with another penalty in the dying minutes.

"I had fears the game might have developed into a local derby and that we were both so keen on winning that we would forget to play our game," Georgia coach Richie Dixon said.

"When we did play our game, we became very strong and we managed to get our rewards for that.

"We came here to gain the respect of everyone we played against, so we have played a strong team in every match and the tournament and I think we have shown that we have made good progress.

"We still have a lot of work to do, but we have made quite good progress."

While Romania head home following four defeats in as many matches, Georgia conclude their campaign against Argentina in Palmerston North on Sunday.

SCORING TIMELINE:

8’ Kvirikashvili penalty: Georgia 3-0

12’ Dumbrava penalty: 3-3 Romania

24’ Kvirikashvili penalty: Georgia 6-3

31’ Kvirikashvili penalty: Georgia 9-3

33’ Dumbrava penalty: 9-6 Romania

35’ Kvirikashvili penalty: Georgia 12-6

56’ Gorgodze try: Georgia 17-6

57’ Kvirikashvili conversion: Georgia 19-6

73’ Kvirikashvili penalty: Georgia 22-6

74’ Vlaicu penalty: 22-9 Romania

77’ Urjukashvili penalty: Georgia 25-9

Reuters

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